AHMEDABAD: Police arrested 21 people for organising and taking part in a religious event and procession at a village in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat on Friday despite a ban on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said.
After being alerted about the event, police reached Paliyad village and stopped the procession mid-way and an offence was registered against the organisers later, the official said.
The organisers were booked under IPC section 188 for defying the police order banning all kinds of gathering in view of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
"The accused were also charged under the Disaster Management Act and were sent for coronavirus test as per the guidelines," Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kalol taluka division, V N Solanki, said.
He said, "Despite a ban on gatherings, some people of Paliyad village had organised a religious event in the premises of a temple and invited villagers to take part in it. We learnt that an elephant was also used in this mass gathering-cum-procession."
Gandhinagar district collector Kuldeep Arya said around 2,500 people had gathered in that village to take part in the event.
"As soon as we learnt about this gathering in the morning, the Sub Divisional Magistrate and Deputy Superintendent of Police were sent to the spot, who asked the organisers to stop the event. We had not given any permission to the organisers for this programme," Arya added.
In the 'Unlock 2', temples can remain open, but gatherings of any kind are banned as per government guidelines.