Hundreds of people in a village in the Indian state of Karnataka congregated to pray to God to help them get rid of the infectious COVID-19. The gathering was held despite the country being under lockdown and orders to maintain social distancing being in place.
A video of the incident, going viral on social media, shows a large number of people gathering with no masks and violating social distancing norms.
Hundreds of people with no regard for masks or social distancing gather for a village temple fair at Ramanagara district on Thursday. @hd_kumaraswamy's fav constituency, @DKShivakumar's home turf & DCM @drashwathcn is district in-charge minister.#IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/SuE1S9MX8l— Mohit Gour. (@MohitGour24) May 15, 2020
According to the police, the gathering was held in the village of Kolagondanahalli in the Ramanagara district during a village fair where people gathered to offer prayers to God to save them from the contagious and deadly disease.
"We have come to know that they had taken permission for gathering from Panchayat Development Officer N.C. Kalmatt. We have suspended him. We are going to take action against people who organised the event and even against people who gathered there", said a senior police officer.
According to the government of India, around 82,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country, while as many as 2,649 people have died due to the virus.
The government has given strict orders to avoid social gatherings and has asked people to stay indoors and step out only in case of emergency or for essential commodities. The country has been under a prolonged lockdown since 25 March that is expected to expire on 17 May.