Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao, who has been forefront at fighting the coronavirus battle in state of Karnataka, was a part of a controversy this week after he was seen praying at a local church in the city with a group of Christian priests, violating the lockdown rules that he is responsible for enforcing.
According to the reports, Bhaskar Rao was present at the St Mark’s Cathedral in Bengaluru last week, where he was seen singing with members of the church choir. The video was shared on social media, which became viral instantly.
ಇಡಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರದ ಜನತೆ ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಲಾಕ್ ಡೌನ ಕಟ್ಟುನಿಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಪಾಲನೆಯನ್ನು ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವಾಗ, ಎಲ್ಲಾ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಗಳ ಬಾಗಿಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಮುಚ್ಚಿರುವಾಗ, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಪೋಲಿಸ್ ಕಮೀಶನರ್ @deepolice12 ರವರು ಚರ್ಚ್ ನ ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ಸಾಮೂಹಿಕ ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥನೆ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗವಹಿಸಿ ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥನೆ ಮಾಡಿರುವುದು ಕಾನೂನು ಉಲ್ಲಂಘನೆ ಅಲ್ಲವೇ?@drashwathcn pic.twitter.com/FxEqcFalvC— Sanatan Hindu (@HJS_Mohan) May 11, 2020
In the viral video, it was seen that senior IPS officer Bhaskar Rao was singing along the church choir at the St Mark’s Cathedral along with the Christian priests. Several other senior police officers Additional Commissioner of Police Soumendu Mukherjee were seen offering prayers and singing together at the cathedral.
Ironically, the crowd at the church, including senior police officers can be seen standing next to each other violating social distancing norms.
Netizens express shock, say commissioner violated lockdown rules
The presence of Bengaluru’s top cop at a church, however, did not well go across the social media. Several netizens took to social media to question the need for Rao visiting a church and praying at a time when the country is under lockdown due to coronavirus.
Netizens questioned how could the police chief participate in such religious gathering during the lockdown period when such congregations linked to other religions, faiths are banned across the country. They questioned the police regarding the violation social distancing norms by the policemen itself.
One user asked was it not a violation of rules by commissioner Bhaskar Rao to pray in a church which is under the red zone. He also pointed out that temples are closed for two months.
“The government had banned people from going to temples, masjids and churches. In fact, people who had been to worship centres were caned in various parts. How could the commissioner violate the rule and take part in a meeting like this by flouting the government rules?” asked a netizen according to DH report.
Bhaskar Rao defends visiting church
Meanwhile, senior IPS officer Bhaskar Rao speaking to Deccan Herald said he had been visiting all religious places to seek blessings to fight off the coronavirus crisis.
“This is not a violation of lockdown rules as everyone had undergone medical tests and maintained social distancing,” he said.
He added that he has been interacting with various community leaders to convince their members to help create awareness on the coronavirus situation, which is of utmost importance at this hour.