(Left) A Jain monk near the temple in Dombivali and temple trustee Bhadresh Joshi (right)
(Left) A Jain monk near the temple in Dombivali and temple trustee Bhadresh Joshi (right)
Dipti Singh - Free Press Journal

Social distancing amidst COVID-19-induced lockdown went for a toss in Bhopar area near Manpada in Dombivali (East) after 50 Jain monks and their disciples from Mumbai gathered for a religious function in a Jain Temple on Thursday morning.

Following a complaint by residents of Lodha Regency, a residential complex nearby, officials of Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to register a police complaint against the trustees of the temple.

A video of Jain monks and devotees reaching the temple and gathering near the temple on Wednesday and Thursday for a religious event shows how people are mocking the social distancing norm while the government is making all the efforts to flatten the curve.

Coronavirus in Kalyan-Dombivli: Jain temple in Dombivli organises religious event, violates lockdown
Dipti Singh - FPJ

"The worst thing is when we got in touch with the trustee, we were told that these monks and devotees who are visiting here are going to stay at the temple premises and not going to violating any norms or inconveniencing locals. The preparation for the event has been going on for the last four to five days. However, when monks started coming in our society office bearers decided to file a police complaint," said Rajshree Waghmare, resident of Lodha Regency.

Chairman of Lodha Regency residential housing society Sumeet Salve said, that initially he trustee told the society members that only 10 monks will be coming to the temple and they will stay indoors and will not be coming out. " To out shock over 50 monks were seen near the temple premises on early Thursday morning, followed by the many devotees joined in. The temple trustee told us they have acquired permission for the event," Salve said.

Salve added, "These monks came from a red zone, from Mumbai which is an epicentre of coronavirus in the state. Were these monks, most of whom came from Ghatkopar screened, do they have permission to travel during a lockdown? The police have not replied to our queries. They have put our lives in danger."

As on May 27, There are a total of 882 patients in Kalyan-Dombivali, of which 570 are active cases and these 570 patients are being treated at different hospitals areas under KDMC's jurisdiction. So far, 286 Covid-19 patients have been discharged.

"The matter was brought to our notice by residents and a two of our officials visited the site. Action will be taken against the temple trust for violating lockdown norms and defying governments advisory. KDMC is also contemplating filing a police complaint against the trustees," Assistant Municipal Commissioner of KDMC, Milind Dhat told the Free Press Journal.

"A case is being registered against Bhadresh Doshi (Trustee of the temple) under Section 188 for violating the rules and crowding the place. We are investigating on how so many people managed to reach the temple during the lockdown and what permissions they possess," said Dadahari Chaure Senior Inspector of Police, Manpada Police Station.

Meanwhile, KDMC officials are looking at quarantining the monks and their disciples at the temple premises after screening them.

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