'Politically motivated', says Ex Karnataka minister after being booked for violating lockdown guidelines

Kalaburagi (Karnataka) [India], May 16 (ANI): Former Karnataka Minister Dr Sharanprakash Patil, who was booked for violating COVID-19 imposed lockdown guidelines said on Friday that it was "politically motivated".

"It's politically motivated, the officer who filed the case was forced by MLA or some other people. As elected representatives, we're going in the constituencies, listening to people as they're apprehensive about the return of migrants. We had not conducted any meeting. Wherever we have gone we have followed social distancing," Patil told ANI.

Patil said, "When I had gone there people came to discuss about a local problem and I was talking to an official concerned. In the meantime, some officer gave a complaint that we have violated the lockdown or something."

"They are trying to curb the voice of opposition because there are a lot of lacunae. We hear complaints about quarantine centres that there is no proper facility for food, or stay, or bathrooms," the Congress leader said.

The FIR was registered on Thursday against 23 persons, including the former MLA and 21 local Congress leaders, under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Congress leader Patil and his followers had conducted a meeting at a convention hall in Sulpeth town on May 13, following which sectoral magistrate Muneer Ahmed lodged a complaint. (ANI)