Karnataka police on Monday lodged an FIR against the State Congress President D.K. Shivakumar, Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and 30 others for carrying out padayatra (protest march) demanding speedy implementation of Mekedatu Project despite Covid curfew order.
The case has been registered in Satanur police station of Ramnagar district under IPC Sections 141, 143, 290, 336 and the Disaster Management Act.
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had warned Congress leaders that they are taking huge risk at a time when more than 10,000 Covid cases are being reported in the state. If there is any spurt in the cases, there is no other way than imposing month-long lockdown which is going to affect people badly.
"We have seen how there was a health crisis, how the cases multiplied and people died during the second wave. If any similar situation arises in the state, the Congress will have to take responsibility," he said.
There is no question of helplessness on part of the government to initiate action against Congress leaders for taking up padayatra defying orders. The Congress party has ruled the country for 65 years. This is not good for the Congress leaders to indulge in politics during Covid.
"People are observing what is happening. Shivakumar maintained that there are no Covid cases in the state. He is walking without a mask and Siddaramaiah has developed fever symptoms. We are concerned about this," he added.
The case would be lodged in connection with padayatra. The stopping of padayatra on Mekedatu project is not a question for the government. "We have police force and if we order they will definitely take action. We don't want any chaos and this should not lead to another tragedy," he maintained.
The Karnataka Congress has started a 10 day padayatra demanding speedy implementation of the Mekedatu project by the ruling BJP government. The protest was inaugurated on Sunday and has now entered its second day.
Shivakumar has refused to get tested for Covid and slammed Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for indulging in cheap politics to stop the padayatra. Thousands of Congress workers and party workers are participating in the padayata despite Covid restrictions imposed in the district.