With the Chittoor district recording a record 2,764 COVID-19 cases and 54 deaths in the 24 hours leading up to Friday morning, district police instructed staff in the Madanapalle, Palamaner, Chittoor, Puttur and Sri City subdivisions to hold public gatherings for festivals like this one to be banned as “Jatara” or “Harikatha” and “Burrakatha” in rural areas.
May is generally hectic activity in the rural hinterland, when villagers gather to celebrate local festivals.
Such celebrations were abolished following the lockdown following the 2020 pandemic outbreak.
However, with only a partial lockdown, cases have been reported in some places of people gathering to celebrate festivals.
Police Deputy Superintendent (Law and Order) N. Sudhakar Reddy spoke to the media about the fact that surveillance teams had been formed to prevent the celebration of village festivals.
“Celebrate at Ekantham”
“People are advised to celebrate the festivals and make their offerings only to the village deities in their households. We have banned the celebration of Ganga Jatara as a public event in Chittoor and elsewhere in the district this year as well. The organizers were asked to celebrate them in ‘ekantham’ and avoid public parishes, ”said Sudhakar Reddy.
“Organizing street and stage plays and reciting ‘Harikatha’ and ‘Burrakatha’ is also prohibited with immediate effect. Those who break the instructions will be posted to the IPC departments for public safety, ”said Sudhakar Reddy.
Meanwhile, Police Superintendent S. Senthil Kumar urged police personnel in all subdivisions, especially in rural areas, to spread the need to use face masks and to comply with protocols among people.