West Godavari:Two persons died of cardiac arrest when they were running away to escape after noticing the police during lockdown in two separate incidents in West Godavari district.

In the first incident 57- year-old Vendra Veeranjaneyuku along with few others was having breakfast at a roadside eatery at Lajapathirai Peta, Palakollu in West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.

After noticing the police personnel, all ran away from the spot to escape from the police, while Veeranjaneyuku ran some distance, collapsed and died. The family members said that he suffered cardiac arrest and died. However, the police did not respond on the incident.

In another incident at Venkatapuram under Chintalapudi Mandal in West Godavari district 55 year-old P Bhaskar Rao died of cardiac arrest when he was trying to escape from the police during the lockdown.

Though police are indirectly responsible for the death of the duo, family members of the deceased persons did not lodge any complaints.

The locals appealed the police not to treat harsh with aged people citing that aged people may suffer cardiac arrest as they are unable to handle in the tough times.

Meanwhile, West Godavari police arrested as many as 49 people for participating in mass prayers by defying the lockdown at Bhagyalakshmi Peta, Tadepalligudem in West Godavari.

Acting on specific information, a police party led by A Raghu rushed to the spot and noticed a group of 49 people offering prayers against the directions of the government.

Police have registered a case under section 143, 188, 288, 271 and 149 of IPC and arrested all the 49 people for participating in the prayers.

Police said some people are defying the lockdown and social distancing norms in West Godavari.

“We won’t spare anyone for breaking the norms. Criminal cases will be registered against the violators. We have decided to register cases against the Priests of the Churches if they were found holding a mass gathering for Sunday prayers. Some Priests of the Churches asked to the people to participate in Sunday prayers” police said.

Since the deadly Coronavirus outbreak, majority of Churches in cities and towns in the state have stopped conducting its masses, and prayers held in Churches and streamed online to parishioners through social media platforms.

Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh Christian Minorities Finance Corporation, N Yeshu Ratnam said that the celebrations of Palm Sunday (April 5), Good Friday (April 10) and Easter (April 15) will be held without parishioners physically attending the church services in view of COVID-19 lockdown. He appealed the people to celebrate the Easter and Good Friday in homes to fight against the Coronavirus as the lockdown continue till April 14.

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