Flouting COVID restrictions mandating social distancing and prohibiting mass gatherings, hundreds of people in Karnataka’s Belagavi district took to the streets to attend a funeral procession. Despite the national and state government not allowing more than 10-20 people to attend human funerals, this one was for a horse.
The horse, according to locals who spoke to the local media, belonged to a local religious group from the village of Maradimath – about an hour away from Belagavi district. As a mark of respect for the horse, a funeral procession was organised. The body of the horse was dressed up in fine clothing and ornaments before it was cremated.
Visuals of the procession that emerged on social networking platforms detailed how hundreds of people pushed and shoved each other in the crowd that had amassed for the event. While many were wearing masks, some didn't have their faces covered.
Defying lockdown, Hundreds gather for Horse’s funeral in Belagavi, Karnataka. pic.twitter.com/fcDgthFVIW— Shivangi Thakur (@thakur_shivangi) May 24, 2021
We have another epidemic here which is much more dangerous than Covid & that is of pathological innocence. “Hundreds of people were seen at the funeral of a horse in the Maradimath area of #Karnataka" #COVIDEmergency pic.twitter.com/epA7nalakY— Dr Tariq Tramboo (@tariqtramboo) May 24, 2021
The village of Maradimath has been sealed for 14 days as officials are ramping up COVID testing in the area. A police complaint against the Kadasiddeshwar ashram has also been registered, police officials have told the media.
Karnataka | Scores of people were seen at a horse's funeral in the Maradimath area of Belagavi, earlier in the day pic.twitter.com/6TlSZm8uPZ— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2021
For now, the total number of the infected cases in Karnataka state stands at over 2,398,925 along with over 24,648 deaths, as per the health ministry.