Police charged at least 23 persons with negligence that could spread a disease for organising a procession to appease the local deity Baliyadev at four villages of Sanand taluka in Ahmedabad district.
A video of the event, in which hundreds of women are seen participating in the procession, went viral on Tuesday. Baliyadev is the deity worshiped to protect children from diseases like measles and chickenpox.
According to deputy superintendent of police of Ahmedabad district, K T Kamaria, the incident took place in the Navapura, Nidhrad, Kolat and Kunvar villages of Sanand taluka.
“We detained at least 40 persons including the sarpanch of Navapura village as at least 250 women gathered and participated in a procession from their village to the temple of Baliyadev on Monday morning,” said Kamaria. He said the procession was seen in Navapura between 8am and 9am and ended after offerings of water were made at the Baliadev temple to supplicate the deity for protection from the disease. The video of Navapura went viral in which the women devotees were seen carrying pots on their head towards the temple.
Police also booked several persons in Nidhrad, Kolat and Kunvar villages for the procession, said Kamaria claiming that the cops detained the organisers in these three villages even before they started the procession.
Sources in the police said the cops identified the husbands of the women who participated in the procession and booked them for violating Covid-19 rules.