Bengaluru: An angry mob created a ruckus in Bengaluru’s Padarayanapura ward on Sunday evening when health department officials and health workers went to identify and shift secondary contacts of COVID-19 patients from the area to quarantine facilities. Visuals of the incident showed a group of people breaking barricades, chairs and tables in the area.

The ward had already been sealed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and preliminary reports suggest that the violence was triggered by rumours of some more residents of Padarayanapura being shifted to a quarantine facility.

The Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao later called on chief minister Yediyurappa and briefed him about the situation in Padarayanapura.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa called an immediate meeting to discuss the situation in Padarayanapura. 

The Congress MLA from the area BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan while condemning the incident, sought to know why the health workers and police officials went to the area late in the night and not in the morning.

"Why did the police and the health workers go in the night when I had told the BBMP Commissioner that I will take them at 10 am?" Khan told reporters.

Defending those who attacked the government officials, Khan said they were uneducated labourers who didn't know what they were doing.

Also watch: Health workers, police attacked in Bengaluru while trying to treat COVID-19 contacts

The violent incident and Zameer's statements drew angry reactions from various quarters.

"Why should the government take anyone's permission to curb the spread of the virus? Who is Zameer to question why the healthcare workers went at night? His irresponsible statements show that he wants the situation to worsen," irked Yediyurappa slammed Zameer Ahmed. 

Later, CM Yediyurappa in the meeting gave a free hand to the police to maintain law and order in the city and handle the situation in Padarayanapura. 

"I give full powers to the police to take a call on the situation and handle it in any way possible. No such incidents will be reported in Bengaluru again," CM said. 

Earlier, Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai said an incident like the one at Padarayanapura will not be tolerated.

"I met the chief minister and briefed him about the incident. He has told us to act strictly. I have told the same to my officials. We won't tolerate such acts by anyone. We have arrested 59 people. Five FIRs have been registered," the minister told reporters.

Condemning the incident, health minister B Srimulu warned those who indulged in such activities.

"The inhuman act of attacking police and health workers in Padarayanapura is highly deplorable. Our government will take appropriate steps against those indulging in the attack on health officials and police officials who had gone there to protect them," he tweeted.

With PTI Inputs