The Dakshina Kannada district administration in Karnataka Sunday lodged a police complaint against several parties after its officials raided a temple in Mangaluru to stop wedding ceremonies held flouting Covid-19 norms.
According to Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K V Rajendra, officials, acting on information shared by local residents, 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 Indian Express.
The district administration came to know that the wedding parties were allowed to conduct the functions by “some health official from the Mangaluru City Corporation 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.
“We received information that over 100 cars were parked on the temple premises and that 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.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Hariram Shankar confirmed that FIRs were filed 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.
Dakshina Kannada is among the few districts in Karnataka which has reported over 4,500 new Covid-19 infections in the last seven days. The coastal district, as of Sunday, has 7,126 active cases only behind Bengaluru Urban (71,282), and Mysuru (7,529).
While 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.