Bengaluru: A case was registered against 40 men for allegedly violating the Covid-19 lockdown, by gathering at a mosque in Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara district, police said on Friday.

At least 40 people, including the sarpanch of Khairikhurd village, were found offering namaz at a mosque at the village in Chourai tehsil, 38 km from the district headquarters, on Thursday night, inspector Mukesh Dwivedi said.

A police patrol party got an alert about a gathering at the mosque amid section 144 (banning assembly of five persons or above) of Criminal Procedure Code imposed in the area, he said.

The men were charged under sections 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant) and 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread infection of a dangerous disease) of Indian Penal Code, the official said.

They were also booked under the Disaster Management Act, Madhya Pradesh Epidemic Diseases Act, Madhya Pradesh Public Health Act 1949 and Epidemic Act 1897, the official said, adding that the men were subsequently granted bail.

Presently, India is under lockdown. It will go on till April 14. From sources, it has been learnt that the lockdown may be extended till April 30 with a view to contain the spread of the virus all the more.

The Prime Minister will make an announcement in this regard after he meets the CMs on April 11. In all likelihood, the lockdown will continue. Several states have asked PM Modi to continue with the lockdown. Even several health experts have opined the same.

Experts have also asked the people to wash their hands regularly and maintain social distancing. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan too has appealed to the people to follow guidelines issued by the government.