Coronavirus outbreak: Lockdown violators punished with sit-ups

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 07:42 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

Cops force them to perform punishment in a cluster at the side of the road with total disregard for social distancing directive

A grab from a video shared over Twitter by the Andheri-Lokhandwala-Oshiwara Citizens' Association, of the police punishing lockdown violators with sit-ups
A grab from a video shared over Twitter by the Andheri-Lokhandwala-Oshiwara Citizens' Association, of the police punishing lockdown violators with sit-ups

The police and government are trying almost every trick in the book to get residents to stay indoors during the 21-day national lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On Monday morning, a video of two police officers making people hold their ears and do sit-ups on the side of Lokhandwala's back road — to reprimand them for stepping out of their homes during the lockdown — went viral. However, the reprimanded people were clustered into a corner on the side of the road while they did the required number of sit-ups, as the police obviously did not take into account social distancing, as some Twitter users pointed out.

Social distance not maintained
The video was first shared over Twitter by the Andheri-Lokhandwala-Oshiwara Citizens' Association. In the 23 second clip, two police officers can be seen standing near three police vehicles (a bus and two patrolling cars) and instructing about 8-10 people—most of them morning walkers — to not get out of their homes, while making them hold their ears and do sit-ups on the side of the road. Some Twitter users were quick to point that a distance of six feet was not maintained between the people made to do these sit-ups, therefore defeating the entire purpose of driving home the point that people must maintain social distancing and stay indoors during the lockdown.

'Sometimes people argue with us'
Speaking to mid-day, Senior Police Inspector Dayanand Bangar confirmed that the police vehicles and officers were from Oshiwara police station, and said that the reprimanding tactic "happened only once" since people have been "cooperating" and staying indoors on most days—albeit it was only on Monday morning that an unusually large number of people were found walking about on the scenic back road. "I had not instructed them (police officers) to do so…they did this of their own accord. But people sometimes argue with us when we ask them to go home…some method or the other needs to be used when they do this," he said. Asked why did the officers not enforce social distancing while making the people do sit-ups, he said that they would make sure to do so from the next time.

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