London cops disrupt mass Haredi girls’ school wedding for breaking lockdown

British police dismantled a mass wedding staged Thursday at a London high school for ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls in violation of virus lockdown rules. The UK Chief Rabbi called the gathering a “shameful desecration”.

Metropolitan Police said 400 people attended the wedding at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School in Stamford Hill in the UK capital, some of whom fled when police arrived.

Wedding attendants covered the building’s windows to prevent people from seeing inside, police added.

Five people were fined £ 200 ($ 273) and police said they were fined £ 10,000 ($ 13,663) for the organizer of the wedding.

According to the BBC, the school serves as a coronavirus testing center on Sundays.

A police commander called the marriage a “totally unacceptable violation of the law” and the mayor of the London borough where Stamford Hill is located has denounced the event.

“We will be meeting with the rabbinate and our community partners over the next few days to see how we can prevent more incidents of this nature,” said Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville. quoted saying in a police statement.

British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has also handed down a conviction.

“It is a most shameful desecration of all that is dear to us. In a time when we all make such great sacrifices, it amounts to a brazen abrogation of the responsibility to protect life and such unlawful behavior is abhorred by the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community ”, he wrote on Twitter.

The marriage came as England is weeks away from its third nationwide lockdown, with schools and non-essential shops closed for the foreseeable future due to an increase in infections.

Home Secretary Priti Patel on Thursday announced that English police will be able to issue larger fines to those who violate coronavirus lockdown measures by partying.

The new fine regime, which takes effect next week, targets people attending house parties and other illegal gatherings, with sentences doubling for each offense.

AFP contributed to this report.

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