Bengaluru, April 24, 2020: Five men arrested for their alleged involvement in violence in Bengaluru’s Padarayanapura earlier this week have tested positive for COVID-19, said Karnataka government.
These men are lodged in Ramanagara district prison since Wednesday, 22 April. According to sources, 52 suspects arrested in connection with the violence are lodged in Ramanagara central prison.
As many as 149 people were arrested in the west Bengaluru neighbourhood after a group of people went on a rampage, vandalising a police check-post on 19 April. The trouble started after some people resisted the city administration’s move to shift some secondary contacts of a COVID-19 patient to a government-designated quarantine centre.
Out of the 149 people arrested in the case, 82 were sent to various quarantine centres in Bengaluru, the remaining 52 were lodged in Ramanagara district prison.
According to a senior prison officer, Ramanagara jail was emptied before lodging these suspects. The 117 prisoners from Ramanagara were sent to Parappana Agrahara central jail in Bengaluru.
All of them were tested for COVID-19 since they were from a hotspot in the city. It was during this test that the two men were found to be positive.
Kumaraswamy Threatens to Hold Protests
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has threatened to take out protest if the remaining prisoners are not taken out of Ramanagara, which is currently a green zone. The former CM’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy is the MLA from here. Ramanagara is one of the districts in the state where no COVID-19 cases have been reported so far.
Late on Thursday night in a series of tweets, Kumaraswamy said: “Reports have come that two rioters of Padarayanapura lodged in Ramanagara jail have tested positive. As a result of this COVID-19 has come to Ramanagara as well, one of the very few districts that have not reported a single case so far and now has cases thanks to the state government.”
"“The government has to immediately shift all those lodged in Ramanagara jail. If they don’t do it, I will be forced to protest from Friday. The people of Ramanagara are terrified now.”" - HD Kumaraswamy
“Reports tell that around eight inmates in contact with the two patients have already been taken to quarantine centres. But that is not enough. The govt needs to quarantine the entire Ramanagara jail. All the police, jail guards, housekeeping and kitchen staff, anyone who has been to the jail premises since these inmates were kept have to be taken care of by the government,” he added.