Thousands defy COVID-19 lockdown norms to welcome Jain monks in Madhya Pradesh as state record 225 coronavirus deaths


Thousands of people gathered to welcome Jain monks in violation of the nationwide lockdown and social distancing norms. This came as the BJP-ruled state reported 225 coronavirus deaths.

Jain monks

Videos of devotees violating the nationwide lockdown to welcome Jain monks in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district have gone viral on social media platforms, evoking angry reactions. It was only after the outrage on social media that the local police decided to launch a ‘probe.’

The incident took place on Monday when thousands of people came out on a road to welcome the Jain monks headed by Muni Pranam Sagar, who reached Banda town, located about 35 km from Sagar district headquarters.

In the viral videos, even Jain monks were seen giving face masks a miss. Many in the crowd too had decided to gather without wearing face masks. Experts believe that this violation both by Jain monks and their followers will have catastrophic effects in a state, which is among India’s worst-affected COVID destinations.

Additional Superintendent of Police Praveen Bhuria told news agency PTI on Wednesday that they got information about the incident from videos shared on social media. He was quoted as saying, “This seems to be a case of violation of preventive orders issued under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Section 144. Directives have been issued to Banda police station officials to register a case after verification of the videos.”

The Banda Police have said that they will register FIR against 400-500 unknown people but not the monks, who too were seen to be violating the lockdown.

This incident has also highlighted the hypocrisy of India’s pro-Hindutva lapdog media, which has decided to not flash provocative headlines to demonise a community since those violating the lockdown are not the members of the Tablighi Jamaat.