Deepavali under COVID-19 shadow, low-key in Karnataka

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(EDS: RPT after correction in para-4) Bengaluru, Nov 14 (PTI): Deepavali was a low-key affair in Karnataka on Saturday for various reasons, including severe restrictions on the use of firecrackers.

The state government had initially ordered a blanket ban on fireworks this time, but it permitted the usage of green crackers after it came under criticism from various quarters.

The government had said that only those firecrackers with QR code showing green crackers should be sold and purchased.

On Saturday, the officials launched a crackdown on many cracker shops in many urban areas of the state, including Bengaluru, Mysuru, Dharwad, Belagavi and Hubballi-Dharwad, for selling the banned crackers.

The cracker-sellers pleaded, but to no avail. The banned firecrackers were taken away by the police.

The coronavirus fear was quite palpable in the market as there was not much noise this time.

The festivities were restricted to decorating the house with lamps and festoons, and distributing sweets, fruits, flowers and clothes, said traders PTI spoke to. PTI GMS NVG NVG NVG