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Masks made mandatory, police to book repeat offenders

With masks made mandatory while stepping out, the police have been finding ways to ensure that people have their masks on always in public places.

Masks made mandatory, police to book repeat offenders
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People wearing masks waiting in line outside an Aavin outlet

Chennai

Though the Greater Chennai Corporation made wearing masks compulsory and said that the police will collect a fine of Rs 100 from violators, it was not enforced in a full-fledged manner for various reasons. “People are already aggrieved due to the restrictions of the lockdown and it would be unfair to impose fine on them. So, instead of forceful implementation of the mask rule, we opted for other ways,” said a senior police official.

A Deputy Commissioner said that we book shopkeepers if we found them without masks. “Shopkeepers come in contact with many people and poses a huge risk if they do not wear masks. So, we book them if they violate the rule. Also, we ask them not to entertain customers if they visit the shops without wearing the masks,” said the official. In Ayanavaram, the police hired two autorickshaws to make announcements in the market area about the importance of wearing masks.

Another official said that majority of them abide by the rule as the Corporation has stated that people can cover the face even with a handkerchief. “So, it is neither a major investment nor inconvence. There are some people who do not wear masks due to lack of awareness, so police themselves distribute masks to them. But there are some who do not obey rule due to apathy. If we find somebody repeatedly not wearing masks, we will book them,” he said.

Such offenders are booked under Section 188 of IPC (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), the same section the other lockdown violators are being booked under.

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