India makes foreigners to write 500 apologies for lockdown breach

DM Monitoring

New Delhi: The Uttarakhand Police has meted out a punishment to ten foreigners staying around the Tapovan area of Rishikesh for violating the ongoing nationwide lockdown that may remind many of their school days.
The foreigners, six men and four women, were found strolling by the Sai Ganga Ghat on April 12 by the police and were reportedly handed out pieces of paper to write about 500 times each: “I did not follow the rules of the lockdown, so I am sorry.”
According to news reports, the foreigners, belonging to Latvia, Israel, Mexico and Australia, told the police that they came out during the lockdown relaxation period in order to meditate by the Ganga and later apologised.
“Apparently not satisfied with the apology, the police brought down sheets of paper from the outpost and distributed them among the foreigners. Each one was asked to write: ‘I did not follow the rules of lockdown. I am very sorry’, at least 500 times, before being let off with a warning,” an Indian Express report said.
Sub-inspector Vinod Kumar Sharma told PTI, “Around 500 foreigners are staying in the Tapovan area these days and they are often seen violating the lockdown rules, throwing caution to the wind.”
He said the lockdown relaxation period was meant only for the movement of essentials. Justifying the punishment, Sharma said that it was to send out a “strong message to those who tend to take the lockdown lightly.”
Agencies add: The Union government said that guidelines on exemptions during lockdown were not being followed properly in some parts of the country and vehicles carrying essential and non-essential items were being detained by police that could lead to a potential shortage of commodities.