Police reinforcements rushed in as local people throw down barricades and block civic staff
Bengaluru: Violence broke out Sunday night at a locality in Bengaluru when civic staff moved in to shift 20 residents to a quarantine facility after the area was detected to be a hotspot of coronavirus infection.
Some 200 residents of Padarayanapura overthrew barricades and attacked staff of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) when they tried to shift suspected cases after sealing off the locality. The lockdown followed the discovery of 17 Covid-19 cases and one death in the area.
Health staff had identified 58 persons in the locality as having come into contact with Covid-infected persons. Some 38 had been shifted to quarantine on Saturday. On Sunday, when BBMP officers were shifting the rest, a crowd gathered and resisted them, demanding that the local MLA Zameer Ahmad Khan be present.
Commissioner of police Bhaskar Rao said the local residents "have made a big mistake and it will be dealt effectively."
He said additional commissioner Soumendu Mukharjee was being sent to the spot with extra force to handle the situation. He said there have been no reports of injuries to staff
DCP West Ramesh Banoth explained that locals questioned staff why the patients had to be moved to quarantine, and demanded that coronavirus testing be done on site. The miscreants got into verbal spat and threw down barricades. We are closing the road again,” he said.
The J J Nagar police have collected CCTV footage and mobile phone recordings from the spot and launched a search for the protesters. A platoon of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) had been deployed to carry out identification and shifting of persons who came into contact with corona-infected persons.