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Two riot accused test COVID-19 positive in Karnataka jail

Bengaluru, April 24 (IANS) Two of the 121 accused, arrested for allegedly attacking healthcare warriors and rioting in a Bengaluru suburb on April 19, tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Ramanagara district jail, an official said on Friday.

“The two accused tested positive when all the under trials from the containment zone in the city’s southwest suburb were subjected to Covid test in our jail on Thursday,” the jail warden told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

The two have been shifted to state-run Victoria hospital in Bengaluru, while the remaining 119 have been isolated from other prisoners and kept separately in the district jail though they tested negative.

Ramanagara, about 50km southwest of Bengaluru on the state highway towards Mysyru, has been a green spot with not a single virus case till date.

“The riot accused were brought to our jail on April 20 night as they were residents of Padayaranapura ward, declared as a containment zone after three Tablighi Jamaat returnees tested positive and their primary and secondary contacts were also shifted to a quarantine centre in the city,” the warden recalled.

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 Ramangara jail is closer to the city and spacious to accommodate so many accused (121), they were lodged there in separate cells,” Kumar said.

Former state chief minister and JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, however, objected to keeping the accused in the Ramanagara jail, as the district was green spot and not a hotspot like Bengaluru and Mysuru.

Ramanagara is also a bastion of the regional opposition party – Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) from where Kumaraswamy has won three times and is represented in the state legislative assembly by his wife Anita.

On April 17, Kumaraswamy and Anita performed the marriage of their son Nikhil with Revathi at a farmhouse near Bidadi in the district, 30km from Bengaluru, amid the extended lockdown, enforced to contain the infection.

–IANS

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