Coronavirus in Karnataka: State to reopen temples from June 1

Shankar RajUpdated: Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 08:14 AM IST
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Coronavirus in Karnataka: State to reopen temples from June 1 | -- PTI file

Bengaluru: Despite a firm directive from the Centre on keeping places of worship shut due to the spread of Covid-19, Karnataka has decided to open temples from June 1; only temples, not other places of worship. Karnataka is the first state to announce the reopening of temples.

The BJP-led state government would soon issue a standard operating protocol to be observed when the temples open. The decision to reopen the temples was announced on Tuesday after CM BS Yediyurappa held a meeting with ministers for religious and charitable tru­sts Kota Srinivas Poojary, an ‘India Today’ report said.

Sources said the decision was taken keeping in mind a huge demand by both priests and devotees. There are around 34,500 temples under the religious and charitable trusts in Karnataka and all will reopen from June 1.

However, the big question is why only temples; why not churches and mosques. This question was raised by Congress MLA NA Haris. “The government must announce reopening of mosques and churches as well. They were closed together and they have to reopen together. Can’t just open temples and not mosques,” Haris said.

Haris, an MLA from Bengaluru’s Shanthinagar, accused BSY government of playing communal politics. “They can’t do politics in name of religion. People will teach them a lesson,” he said.

State reports 101 cases; Sadananda Gowda pained

Karnataka on Tuesday reported 101 cases of Covid-19, taking the total in the state to 2,283. The death toll stood at 44, discharges 722 and 1,514 active coronavirus cases in the state.

Of the 101 new cases, 47 are returnees from neighbouring Maharashtra, 21 from Tamil Nadu, 13 from Jharkhand and 1 from Gujarat, while 4 have travelled from Qatar. Chitradurga reported highest cases at 20, followed by Yadgir 14; 13 each in Belagavi and Hassan.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Sadananda Gowda Tuesday said he has once again tested negative for Covid-19 after undergoing a test following his return to Bengaluru from New Delhi. “Happy to share the information I again underwent COVID19 test, which is found to be negative. Appealing the fellow citizens to take enough precautions to avoid infections. Please wear face mask and maintain social distancing. Please help us to help you,” he tweeted.

Gowda, a former CM of Karnataka, said he was “pained at an attempt to make my official visit to Bengaluru a controversial one despite I being a Union Minister handling Pharmaceutical Dept, an essential wing fighting Covid-19. I followed the SOP, which exempts Ministers, Officers on duty from quarantining.”

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