Karnataka government withdraws night curfew order amid public protests

The government of Karnataka on Thursday withdrew his night curfew order just six hours before it was enforced statewide.

In a statement on Thursday evening, Prime Minister BS Yediyurappa said that after the public outcry he held a meeting with officials and ministers and decided to withdraw the night curfew order. “There was a public opinion that a night curfew is not necessary, so it was decided to withdraw it after discussions with government ministers and senior officials,” he said.

The decision to impose a night curfew for nine days from 11pm to 5am starting Thursday was taken Wednesday by Yediyurappa in line with the Center’s advice, amid concerns about a new variant of Covid-19 that was spreading to the UK.

In the statement, he urged citizens to follow all Covid-19 precautionary measures such as wearing face masks and ensuring social distances. Yediyurappa asked the public to avoid unnecessary travel and help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Congress had opposed the decision to impose a night curfew. Early Thursday morning, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chairman DK Shivakumar called the night curfew an “illogical” move and called for the night curfew to be lifted.

Karnataka was the second state after Maharashtra to impose a statewide nighttime curfew. On Wednesday morning, announcing the curfew, he said: “In view of the new Coronavirus strain, a night curfew for nine days will be imposed until January 2”.