Kasaragod, Feb 23, 2021: Various political parties near Talapady of Kasaragod in Kerala have been protesting against the Karnataka government’s border regulations for travellers from Kerala since Monday morning. The Youth Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Democratic Youth Federation of India and All India Youth Federation have conducted protests and marches at the border. Following these protests on Monday and Tuesday, the Karnataka government did not implement strict regulations in Talapady.
As per the new regulations, people from Kerala without negative RT-PCR test results would not be allowed to cross the Karnataka border. Though the regulations were supposed to be implemented on Monday, there was no strict checking at the site.
Still, many remained fearful of the regulations and the disruption it would cause to their lives. Students from Kasaragod district studying in Mangaluru as day scholars were worried that they would miss classes and exams due to the new regulations. Semester exams begin this week for many students in Mangaluru. "My semester exams will start from Wednesday. I live in Uppala, which is just 30 minutes away from my college in Mangaluru. So I studied as a day scholar. I was worried that I would miss my exams this afternoon, so I traveled to Mangaluru and stayed with my friends here," Shabeer, a graduate student, says.
Other students are concerned over finding a place to stay in Mangaluru on short notice. "I missed an exam on Monday as I was scared after hearing the news that there were issues at the border. I have no idea what I will do tomorrow if they start checking the results. Today we went to the government hospital for the RT-PCR test but they said they cannot take the test as I have no symptoms. My mother doesn’t have Rs 2000 immediately to get a test from a private lab," Sharatj, another student from Kasaragod who studies in Mangaluru, says.
However, it is not known when the Karnataka government will strengthen checking at Talapady.
Manjeshwar MLA MC Kamarudhin told the media that by taking this extreme step, Karnataka is playing a political game while creating enemies between people.
Many people living in the border villages also depend on Mangaluru hospitals for treatment. In April 2020, Karnataka had closed its borders, leading to the death of at least two patients due to lack of medical care.
While the regulations were not implemented in Talapady, at the Bavali checkpost in Wayanad district, Karnataka officials had been thoroughly checking vehicles and only those with negative RT-PCR tests were allowed to enter the state.
"I have farm land in Karnataka. I travel daily by crossing the border. How can I take a test every 72 hours to provide them with the required documents?" Raju, a farmer from Wayanad, told TNM.
Courtesy:The News Minute