Udayavni Special

60 more arrested for attack on health workers in Padarayanapura: Bommai


Team Udayavani, Apr 21, 2020, 6:47 PM IST

Bengaluru: Sixty more people have been arrested in connection with attack on police and health workers on COVID-19 duty at Padarayanapura here, taking the total number of those detained to 119 in the past two days, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Tuesday.

In a related development, a district jail in nearby Ramanagara has been converted into a “sort of COVID-19” prison and the first batch of 59 people arrested in connection with the incident lodged there after being remanded to judicial custody by a court, an official said.

The entire Padarayanapura, a minority-dominated area, is under ‘control’, Bommai said, a day after Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa termed as “goondaism” the attack on the health workers and police personnel on Sunday and directed stringent action against those taking law into their hands.

Police had on Monday said 59 people had been arrested in connection with the incident during which a large number of residents gathered and thrashed the health workers, who visited the area to quarantine contacts of a COVID-19 patient, and also some locals who came to their rescue.

“The Bengaluru police have so far arrested 119 people who had created a riotous situation at Padarayanapura. The entire area is under control,” Bommai told reporters here.

When asked whether action under the National Security Act would be initiated against them, he said criminal cases will be registered against them under the National Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act in addition to the Indian Penal Code provisions.

The health workers had visited the area to quarantine some 40 odd primary and secondary contacts of a COVID-19 patient when the people, mostly youths from the minority community, unleashed violence.

According to one of the five FIRs, the mob allegedly raised slogans “Kill police.Don’t spare them” and rused towards the workers and police holding stones, sticks and sharp-edged weapons.

A prison official said the inmates already lodged in the Ramanagara jail were being shifted to the Central prison here.

“At present there are 177 prisoners in Ramanagara Jail they will be shifted to the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail,” the official told PTI.

The strength and capacity of the prison may be enhanced, if the situation warranted, to lodge all such remand prisoners who are suspected to be infected with COVID-19 and had indulged in violent incidents, sources in the prison department said.

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