Bengaluru, April 24 (IANS) As many as 116 riot case accused had been from Ramanagara district jail to the sprawling Haj complex (bhavan) in the city centre after 5 co-accused tested coronavirus positive, a senior Karnataka Police officer said on Friday.
“Of the 121 accused, 116 who tested negative have been shifted to Haj Bhavan in the city from the district jail after the remaining five tested positive on Thursday to prevent other inmates from getting infected,” DCP (West) Ramesh Bhanot told reporters here.
Ramanagara, about 50km southwest of Bengaluru on the state highway towards Mysuru, has been a green spot with not a single coronavirus case till date.
The inmates were arrested and remanded to judicial custody on April 21 for allegedly attacking healthcare warriors and rioting at the containment zone in the city’s southwest suburb on April 19.
“As all the accused are from the containment zone where three Tablighi Jamaat returnees tested positive and their 58 primary and secondary contacts have been sent to a quarantine centre in the city, they were subjected to COVID-19 test, in which five had tested positive and 116 negative,” said Bhanot.
Of the five positive cases, two were shifted on late Thursday night and three on Friday post-noon after the jail authorities received their test results earlier in the day.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (West) Krishna Kumar told IANS that the accused were lodged in the district jail, as the central jail in the city’s southern outskirts was crowded and the authorities did not want to risk.
“As Ramanagara jail is closer to the city and spacious to accommodate so many accused, they were lodged there in separate cells,” Kumar said.
Former state chief minister and JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, however, objected to lodging the accused in the Ramanagara jail, as the district was a green spot and not a hotspot like Bengaluru and Mysuru.
Ramanagara is a bastion of regional opposition party Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) from whose Assembly segment Kumaraswamy has won three times and which is currently represented in the lower house by his wife Anita.