International lawyer David Tafuri joins Trace Gallagher to discuss India's decision to lock down for 21 days amid coronavirus pandemic.
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Police in India forced 10 foreign visitors Saturday to write “I didn’t follow lockdown. I am sorry” 500 times on a piece of paper for violating the country’s coronavirus lockdown measures, according to a report.
The unorthodox punishment took place in the northern city of Rishikesh near the Ganges River, the Hindustan Times reported.
Police said they had received reports in the Topovan area of the city regarding visitors who “were defying the lockdown and coming to the Ganga stretch from Neem Beach till Sai Ghat in Tapovan to chill.”
Vinod Kumar, the officer-in-charge, said, “I along with some other personnel of my check post decided to patrol that stretch during which we found 10 foreigners strolling there.”
Kumar said he caught the visitors, from Israel, Australia, Mexico and multiple European countries, near the river. They allegedly told Kumar they thought they could go out “from 7 a.m. ’til 1 p.m. when the lockdown is relaxed.”
He also said he told them, “Relaxation is meant for people to buy essential items and not for venturing out without any reason.”
Kumar then said he asked one of his fellow officers to bring a stack of blank pages, which he gave to each of the 10 visitors, asking them to write: “I did not follow the lockdown. I am sorry,” 500 times.
“After punishing them, I told them that it is a light one and if they refuse to do so then they will be blacklisted which will bar them from entering India again. They then agreed to the punishment and wrote the apology out 500 times at the spot. They were then let off with a stern warning and told not to venture out without any reason,” Kumar said.
The area normally has been a major attraction, but tourism has declined significantly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
India has seen over 9,200 coronavirus cases with more than 330 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.