Bhopal police officers adorn civilian clothes to enforce mask use as Covid cases surge

Bhopal Police launched a mask control operation earlier this month to punish people found wearing masks in the city. The decision was made to curb the spread of the infection in the city and police officers along with officials from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) could be seen checking the masks on streets, bus stops and other busy areas of the city.

But now the administration appears to have changed its strategy of stopping people on the street and fined them for not wearing masks, as they used to be seen doing. They added element of surprise to catch people in public places and punish them for the offense.

Plainclothes personnel

A report published in the Times of India (TOI) revealed that police officers, now in plain clothes, are going to crowded places, markets and residential areas to keep an eye on people not wearing masks. Often the officers simply stand in plainclothes in front of a busy shop or hotel and catch people going in or out without a mask.

Crack down on breaches of the Covid rules

The Bhopal government has intensified its crackdown on people not wearing masks and who are not complying with Covid guidelines. It has formed 85 teams with a team in each department consisting of a financial inspector, a police sub-inspector and a district in charge of the BMC to ensure people comply with Covid rules. The relevant BMC has been asked to make the POS machine compulsory to wear and to update the administration every evening on how many people have been fined for breaching Covid protocols and the amount they have collected.

Residents welcome move

The initiative of the police personnel to check people without a mask in plain clothes was welcomed by the city’s residents.

New Market Secretary-General Kirana Vyapari Mahasangh Ajay Devanai welcomed the move and was quoted by TOI as saying the team is circling the market and fines people not wearing masks.

Mask control drive intensified

So far, mask control has only been carried out on the streets and markets, but as of yesterday, mask control has also started in hotels, restaurants, large shops and private offices.

If an employee or customer is seen without a mask, store or office operators will also be fined. A separate fine of Rs 200 will be imposed.

About 6,000 people have been caught without a mask in the last 7 days. An average of 800 people were found out and about without a mask.

One of the residents also shared his experience, saying he was fined for not wearing a mask at the gate of his colony. He said it was a better way to ensure the city’s mask norm.

MP Covid Record

On Wednesday, Madhya Pradesh added 3,639 new Covid cases, bringing the total to 10/8/442. The death toll rose to 10,540 after another patient succumbed to the infection. Bhopal, one of the worst coronavirus-hit cities in the state, has recorded 572 cases in the past 24 hours. The state’s recovery count stood at 7,85,496 after 497 people were discharged from hospitals during the day.

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