COVID Pandemic: Pune Police Begin Crackdown For Not Wearing Mask

Pune police action for not wearing mask
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Mubarak Ansari & Sumit Singh

Pune, September 2, 2020: After being authorised by the state government to impose fines on people for not wearing a face mask in the backdrop of Coronavirus disease (COVID19) pandemic, Pune city police have started taking action. All police stations and traffic police divisions have been asked to take action. FIRs can also be registered if people argue and do not pay fines.

Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Ravindra Shisve said, “Our aim is not to collect fine but to make people start using masks because of the fine. We have issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to police officers and personnel for this purpose. Police personnel have been asked to educate people on the need to use the mask as a precautionary measure against COVID pandemic. Teams have been formed at the police station and traffic division who will issue a receipt for the fine collection.”

Jt CP Shisve said that the number of corona infected patients in Pune city is increasing day by day. Social distancing, masks, sanitizers are measures to prevent corona infection. Therefore, it must be strictly enforced legally, he said.

Deputy Chief Minister and Pune District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar had asked the municipal corporations to strictly enforce the preventive measures. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has delegated powers to police to impose Rs 500 fine on people who are found without a mask in public places, driving a vehicle or travelling in car/vehicle.


“The purpose of the police action is not to punish the person who travels without a mask but to make it compulsory for all persons to wear the mask while going out of the home. People should make it a habit to wear the mask”, he added.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for cops while taking action against people who are found without a mask:

– When taking action against a person who travels without a mask, the reason for the fine, name the person and place should be mentioned in the receipt which should be given to the person after collection of the fine.

– Penalties should not be levied without a receipt.

– People who do not have masks and those who deliberately do not wear masks should be given priority.

– Emphasis should be placed on communication (awareness) and avoid disputes while taking punitive action.

– A person who is alone and travels without a mask but is not in contact/conversation with anyone should be given instructions about using a mask first. Even after giving a message if the response of the person is negative or the person is found to be deliberately avoiding the use of the mask, the penalty should be imposed.

-All officers and staff should use hand gloves, masks, face shields and use sanitizer after each action. Police officers and staff should maintain a physical distance while taking action.

A man shows fine receipt for not wearing mask.