Gujarat: 46 held for taking out procession to 'eradicate COVID-19'
Police has arrested 46 people for taking out a religious procession at a village in Gandhinagar district to "eradicate coronavirus," an official said on Thursday. This is the second such incident in Gujarat in the last few days. "All COVID-19 prevention norms were allegedly violated during the latest procession taken out in Gandhinagar's Raipur village on Wednesday," Deputy Superintendent of Police MK Rana said.
100 men, women without masks participated in the procession
In a video that went viral on social media on Thursday, 100 men and women, many without masks, were seen participating in a procession in the village. While women were carrying water pots on their heads, several men were leading the procession while beating drums. "After being alerted about the incident, we have arrested 46 men involved in taking out the procession," Rana said.
Villagers believed pouring water on temple can eradicate COVID-19
"A section of people from the village believed coronavirus could be eradicated by pouring water on a local temple of their deity," he said. "All the 46 accused were booked for violating police notification regarding gatherings under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act," the official said.
Similar incident took place at Navapura village in Ahmedabad
On May 3, a similar incident took place at Navapura village in Ahmedabad where a large number of women carrying water pots on their heads took out a procession to a local temple, believing that pouring water on the temple would eradicate COVID-19.
Gujarat government has imposed a ban on all gatherings
Police had arrested 23 people, including the village sarpanch, for organizing the event. The Gujarat government has already imposed a ban on all kinds of gatherings in the state in the wake of the COVID-19 surge. On Wednesday, Gujarat reported 12,955 new coronavirus cases, raising its tally to 6,33,427, while 133 deaths pushed the toll to 7,912, as per the state health department.