Mumbai: The Pandharpur police on Tuesday booked more than 1,000 people, including VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar for defying social distancing norms while protesting for reopening of the famous temple of Lord Vitthal at Pandharpur town in Maharashtra’s Solapur district on Monday.
“A case has been registered against over 1,000 people, including Ambedkar and members of the warkari outfits, for unlawful assembly and violating the Covid-19 restrictions that inflicted to stop the spread of the virus,” said Manoj Patil, Superintendent of Police, Solapur district.
The protesters have been booked under sections 143 and 144 of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Maharashtra Police Act, Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Disease Act.
During their agitation near the temple, shut due to Covid-19 restrictions, Ambedkar said they were waiting for a response from the district collector over the demand and added, “I am here to break rules”. The police had barricaded roads leading to the temple to stop the protesters.
The VBA is supporting the demand of the Vishwa Warkari Sena, an outfit of devotees of Lord Vitthal, which had given a memorandum to the Solapur district administration seeking that all temples should be reopened in Maharashtra.