Sit-ups, squats, ‘murga’ punishment, police try new ways to keep people at home
   Date :26-Mar-2020

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 Police personnel punish offenders flouting nationwide lockdown imposed by the Government, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Jabalpur on Wednesday. (PTI)
 
NEW DELHI :
 
WITH people continuing to step out for “non-essential” activities amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, police across the country have come up with unique ways to highlight the importance of staying at home. From making ‘COVIDIOTS’ (a term coined for those flouting restrictions) squat on the road and do sit-ups, to making them pose with pamphlets admitting their fault, police officials have pulled out all the stops from their kitty of creativity to drive home the message.
 
“Think before you step out during lockdown in #AndhraPradesh. Vijayawada police are finding new ways to restrict traffic. The Chief Minister @ysjagan has allowed only one per family to purchase essentials, gathering more than 5 is strictly prohibited.#AndhraFightsCorona,” writes a user on microblogging site Twitter. He accompanied the tweet with a 14 second-long video of the Andhra Pradesh police making defaulters do sit-ups with crossed hands. A similar awareness tactic was used by the Maharastra police, which in a video posted on social media, is seen making at least nine people do sit-ups near a traffic signal, evoking both laughter and appreciation for the officials.
 
The Government had last week announced a lockdown till March 31 in 80 districts across India to contain the spread of virus. The restrictions were extended after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night declared a 21-day nationwide lockdown. The police forces in Punjab, UP and Uttarakhand took their creative ways a notch higher to ensure that the public curfew is followed.