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Cops come up with new idea to shame COVID-19 lockdown violators

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Mumbai, Apr 16: Kolhapur Police in Maharashtra has come up with a new idea of publicly shaming lockdown violators by posting their pictures on social media.

The drive was launched on Tuesday and over 40 offenders were punished as part of it, a police official said.

Cops come up with new idea to shame COVID-19 lockdown violators

This was done after police found several well educated and "over-smart" people, who were aware of the situation, coming out of their homes for morning and evening walks and violating the lockdown guidelines, he said.

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"To punish such people, we created some selfie points with the message I am irresponsible, I am selfish'. The offenders are asked to click a selfie there and it is then posted on the Facebook page of police," Kolhapur Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh said.

This kind of punishment will put social pressure on the educated people, who violate the prohibitory orders by coming out of their homes without any valid reason, he said.

The selfie points have been created by police at Kalamba and Phule Wadi. Those caught so far for violating the lockdown include doctors, teachers and young students, he said.

Police also recorded videos about the reasons why these people came out of their homes and all of them gave unsatisfactory replies, the official said, adding that some even gave false identities.

"One can understand if a labourer or daily wager comes out of home in search of work or food for his family. But these people are coming out for morning and evening walks, which is a very irresponsible behaviour at this crucial time," Deshmukh said.

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He said many of the offenders did not even wear masks and did not follow the social distancing guidelines.

"They have a feeling that nothing will happen to them," he said. The police are hopeful that this drive will make people realise their mistake and they would stay indoors.

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