The Karnataka police resorted to lathi-charge at people in Marnamikatta, Mangalore to prevent crowding as they had ventured out at a few Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) outlets after the Dakshina Kannada district administration had ordered the closure of all vegetable and fruit shops except HOPCOMS outlets during the weekend curfew.

One man who escaped lathi-charge said that he came out to buy fruits for his co-brother’s family whose members had tested positive to COVID-19. “I was not there for fun,” he said.

He pointed out that with just a three-hour window to purchase essentials and with all other shops ordered to be closed, crowding naturally would happen at HOPCOMS.

HOPCOMS outlet charged him Rs 1,400 for a kg each of Sapota, pomegranate, butter fruit and watermelon and did not issue a bill, he alleged. “I had no time to argue with the outlet operator with lathi-wielding policemen around. It was nothing but daylight robbery by a government-supported cooperative society, rued the man.