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The Karnataka government has clamped a total lockdown till May 25, to contain the massive spread of Covid-19 across the State from Monday.

May 10, 2021

The Karnataka government has clamped a total lockdown till May 25, to contain the massive spread of Covid-19 across the State from Monday. People are allowed to step out only to buy essential things between 6 am and 10 am.
The first day of the lockdown witnessed chaotic scenes across the State including the capital Bengaluru. The police tried to enforce it without applying mind or using discretion, leading to an explosion of protests from across the State.
Police stopped, lathi-charged, abused and seized thousands of vehicles across the State claiming the lockdown guidelines issued by the Chief Secretary has banned the usage of vehicles. According to them, people are asked to go only on foot to buy essentials. In most of Karnataka, where the people have to travel 1km to 15km to buy daily essentials, this order met with protests.
The indifference, apathy and lack of application of mind by the high-power committee headed by Chief Secretary P Ravikumar have resulted in utter chaos all over the State.
The people are openly acknowledging that the last year, the lockdown was implemented with a humane approach by then Chief Secretary TM Vijayabhaskar, DGP Praveen Sood and Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao. Sood, who is still heading the police force in the State is maintaining a total silence over the highhandedness of his subordinate force.
The lockdown guidelines banning the use of vehicles has caused immense hardships to the people, especially in the hilly and sparsely-populated Malnad region, where the common man has to travel 10 to 15km to buy even a matchbox.
Overenthusiastic police were seen caning and abusing people all over.
The angry public blasted the mindless rules being executed by the police and civilian administration, which is causing a huge inconvenience to all.
“I am an asthma patient. I have to buy medicines. I am currently at my village. The nearest town is 15 kilometres away. Police say I can’t use my car. How can I walk 30 kilometres to buy lifesaving drugs? Has the government lost all senses?” asked Sridhar, a 62-year-old farmer from Hosanagara taluk in Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa’s home district of Shimoga.
Thousands of IT and IT-enabled professionals who have returned to their remote villages to work from home bore the brunt when the police stopped them from going to nearby bigger villages and towns to get access to the Internet.
“More than a hundred younger IT professionals go to a small town called Nittur to get access to the Internet as our villages have no network. Today, police stopped us and even abused us in some cases saying we should quit our jobs. What kind of brutality is this? Are we under military rule,” asked Krishna, an IT professional?
Even the farmers who were going to their fields to continue agricultural activities and were on their way to fruits and vegetable mandis were also stopped by the police citing guidelines.
“Corona has already destroyed us. No demand for fruits and vegetables. The new rules have killed us completely. We will die of hunger, if not of Corona” said a farmer Prasanna.
The former chief minister and JDS chief HD Kumaraswamy as well as BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi have criticized the guidelines asking the State government to relax rules allowing the vehicles to go to markets.
According to insiders the rigid attitude of Chief Secretary P Ravikumar and the Principal Secretary to CM, EV Ramana Reddy, are mainly responsible for the current chaos all over the State.
“When the CM BS Yeddyurappa ordered them to relax rules, they vehemently opposed it”, said an official in the Chief Minister’s Office.
“If the State government does not relax rules, we will protest across the state”, said HD Kumaraswamy, terming the current rules inhuman.
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