Third FIR against DK Shivakumar for flouting Covid norms during Mekedatu padayatra

The Congress in Karnataka on Sunday began its 11 days padayatra, despite the govt\'s Covid restrictions

Bengaluru: As Congress launched its 11-day padayatra seeking early implementation of the Mekedatu drinking water project on Sunday, Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar stirred troubled waters for himself as three FIRs have been filed against him on allegations of flouting COVID-19 norms.

On Wednesday morning, Shivakumar and 63 other Congressmen were booked in Ramanagara for violating COVID-19 norms during the party's Mekedatu padayatra.

On January 11, the second case has been filed against Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar for violating COVID-19 norms during his 'Mekedatu Padayatra', informed local police.

"Around 41 persons including Shivakumar and MP D K Suresh have been named in an FIR that has been filed Sathanur police station of Ramanagara district on Monday for violating COVID-19 norms," said a police officer.

Earlier on Sunday, the first FIR was registered against 30 people for violating COVID-19 norms in the 'Padayatra'.

The Congress in Karnataka on Sunday began its 11 days padayatra, despite the government's COVID-19 restrictions, demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai slammed Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who reportedly refused to take a COVID test after the padayatra.

In response, Shivakumar accused the government of trying to "infect" him with COVID-19 by exposing him to an official who tested positive for Coronavirus.

"Additional District Commissioner who came to test me last night has tested COVID-19 positive. He was sent to make sure that I get infected and test positive. The Government wants to make me a primary contact of the COVID positive person and that is why the official had been sent," alleged Shivakumar on Monday.

"This may not be the idea of Chief Minister. But the Health Minister (K. Sudhakar) is capable of doing it," he further said.

Further alleging mishandling of COVID-19 testing data, the Congress leader demanded a judicial enquiry on COVID-19 numbers."I have around dozen of doctors in my family, many kids in my family are studying medicine. I know how they are testing people who are coming from abroad in airports. It's all BJP positive, BJP Covid, BJP omicron. I demand a judicial enquiry on these COVID-19 numbers," he said.

The Karnataka government has imposed a curfew on weekends and restricted public gatherings to fight the third wave of COVID-19, till January 19. It has also imposed a night curfew and has prohibited all rallies, dharnas, protests, among others.

The Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum drinking water project, to be constructed across the Cauvery river basin, has been at the centre of controversy between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Earlier too on July 12, 2021, Bommai had said that the Centre will have to give clearance to the project as per law and there is no reason the state government will stop the project.

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