Thousands defy Covid curbs to gather at Gujarat temple

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Women in their thousands from Navapura in Changodar and Nidharada village in Sanand Taluka thronged the road leading to the temple, carrying water-filled pots on their heads….reports Asian Lite News.

Thousands of devotees from Navapura and Nidhrada villages in Sanand Tehsil of Ahmedabad gathered to shower water on the Baliyadev temple to fulfil their vow to the temple deity, thereby violating the current Covid guidelines of physical distancing and masks. The Sanand police has filed charges in the matter and arrested around two dozen people for violation of the protocols.

Even as the entire country is grappling with the crisis of the second wave of the corons pandemic, and the government as well as the public taking utmost precautions against the virus spread, Gujarat’s Sanand city on Tuesday saw thousands of women gathering to offer water at the Baliyadev Temple.

Thousands of people were mobilized for a mass gathering upon the Baliyadev Temple priest’s call to fulfil the ‘Badha’ (vow) to shower the temple. Along with the vow, a myth was also linked that by fulfilling the vow the temple deity would get rid of the corona outbreak in the country.

Women in their thousands from Navapura in Changodar and Nidharada village in Sanand Taluka thronged the road leading to the temple, carrying water-filled pots on their heads. Apart from the mass gathering, music was also being played by a DJ. Visuals of the mass gathering show the women marching as the music is being played. Apart from physical distancing going for a toss, the place was also seen with most of the people flouting mask guidelines.

As soon as the video of the incident went viral, the local police sprung into action. The Changodar police went to Navapura village to investigate the matter. The police found out that the women had gathered in huge numbers near the Baliyadev Temple.

The police arrested 23 people in Navapura village, including the village Sarpanch as well as the organiser of the mass religious gathering.

“As soon as we came to know about the incident, the police rushed to the place and we have filed charges at both the Navapura village and Nidhrada villages. We have arrested the Navapura Sarpanch, the DJ and the organizer in Navapura. We appeal to the people to please follow the Covid protocols and cooperate with the administration in fighting the virus,” said KT Kamaria, DySP, Ahmedabad Rural.

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