Fifty people have been arrested and charged with rioting after they broke into a temple in Karnataka's Koppal district and forcibly took out the chariot, defying COVID-19 restrictions.
Superintendent of Police (SP), G Sangeetha, said that the tehsildar had given permission for puja at the temple in Dotihal village of Kustigi taluk in north Karnataka. The puja is held annually.
Due to the lockdown, the puja was to be held with the involvement of a limited number of people, and inside the temple, NDTV reported.
The temple doors were shut after the crowd grew to around 50 people. Those outside the temple then broke open the metal grill gate and forced the temple chariot out.
As an ever-larger crowd began gathering, police resorted to lathi-charge. They managed to disperse the crowd and take the chariot back into the temple.
Based on CCTV footage of the incident, police arrested the accused. The SP said that more arrests would be made. She further said that the village in question is now almost empty as several people have run away. The fleeing men have only left behind the women and the children.