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Police stop 4 weddings held amid Covid-19 curbs

Mangaluru: On Sunday, the Dakshina Kannada district administration in Karnataka registered a police complaint against many parties after its officials raided a temple in Mangaluru to stop wedding ceremonies held in violation of Covid-19 norms.

V Rajendra, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner, said that the officials were acting on the information shared by local residents, and found that a total of four weddings took place at Mahathobara Shree Mangaladevi Temple during the day. ‘Temples and religious places are not yet open for the public as per the Covid-19 restrictions that are in place and people were not supposed to gather in such huge numbers,’ Rajendra told the media.

The district administration came to know that the wedding parties were permitted to conduct the functions by ‘some health official from the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) who is not the competent authority’ to do so. ‘Further investigation is underway based on a complaint filed at the jurisdictional police station,’ Rajendra added.

Another senior official affirmed that a ceremony, ‘which saw most attendance’, was hindered as a team of officials led by Assistant Commissioner Madan Mohan raided the venue. ‘We received information that over 100 cars were parked at the temple premises and that a large crowd had assembled at the venue for a wedding. The MCC team led by Assistant Commissioner Madan Mohan raided the venue to stop the ceremony asking the crowd to disperse,’ the official said.

In the meantime, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Hariram Shankar said that FIRs were registered against MCC health officials, temple authorities, and the marriage parties. ‘While no functions are allowed to take place in temples, various photos and video footages from the venue have indicated that an estimated 150 people attended the ceremony. The FIRs have been filed under relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act 2020,’ he said.

In the last week, Dakshina Kannada reported over 4,500 new Covid-19 infections. The coastal district, as of Sunday, has 7,126 active cases only behind Bengaluru Urban (71,282), and Mysuru (7,529).

The Karnataka government has announced several relaxations in the pandemic-related restrictions since June 14 in phases, the public is yet to be allowed at places of worship across the state.


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