Bengaluru, March 27, 2020: Containing the spread of COVID-19 on a war footing, the Karnataka government is also fighting superstitious rumours and blind beliefs spread by miscreants. Gripping lakhs of people in a panic on Friday, reports about temple lamps in the famous pilgrimage centres of Karnataka and neighbouring states being put out, forced people to come on to the streets and light lamps in front of their houses.
The reports about temple lamps being put out due to the novel coronavirus were widely circulated through social media and Whatsapp groups. Forward messages in several WhatsApp groups claimed that the temple lamps in Tirupati, Dharmasthala and Sri Saila have been put out abruptly in the middle of the night which many considered to be a bad omen.
Panic-stricken people came on to the streets and lit lamps in front of their homes. While in some rural areas of Gadag, Bagalkot and Koppal, people came out in the wee hours of the morning to light lamps on streets. However, authorities at Sri Saila temple clarified that there was nothing of that sort at the Mallikarjuna temple and all pooja activities are being carried out smoothly.
Similarly, Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala D Veerendra Heggade also issued a statement saying such reports were just rumours and far from the truth. “The temple closes at 8:00 pm and is opened again at 5:00 am. There is no scope for anybody to enter the temple during this hour and hence the reports are baseless and an act of miscreants. I request everybody to pray to the god in their homes and stay safe from the COVID-19,” Veerendra Heggade said in a statement.