New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) The Delhi Police did not fine people for violating COVID-19 guidelines on Sunday and gave them masks and flowers instead to educate them about strictly following coronavirus-appropriate behaviour to fight the deadly infection.
In a special drive, police personnel distributed pamphlets, masks and gloves, made public announcements, gave flowers and made violators pledge to follow the protocols instead of issuing challans for a day, they said.
Police officials said rather than issuing challans for violations, the focus of the police on the ground in all the 15 districts under its special drive would be to sensitise those violating COVID-19 guidelines and make them pledge to follow them.
'Fines and prosecution will be continued, but for today, focus will largely will be on creating awareness,' officials said.
Police personnel have also been instructed not to indulge in any kind of harsh behaviour with people and instead create awareness and educate violators through public announcement systems, placards and giving them flowers, masks and gloves if required, officials said.
In Shahadra district, police personnel have been asked to observe -- 'no challan, only awareness day' -- a special drive against Covid and curfew violations.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) R Sathiyasundaram said only prosecution will not serve the purpose and the focus should be on educating the violators and creating awareness among them to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
'With cases coming down, the government may lift the lockdown or ease it down with relaxations later. So people will start moving out eventually. According to experts, there is a possibility of a third wave which could be even more dangerous, so we need to create awareness.
'We won't be issuing challans today (Sunday) and instead those caught violating norms, will be made to take a pledge, those without masks will be given masks and gloves. We are also distributing pamphlets to educate them and encouraging violators to sensitise others as well to strictly follow the guidelines,' he said.
Officials said picket teams will remain in place to check and identify violators, but through pledge and public announcement systems will educate the violators.
'Today in east district, rather than issuing Covid challans on violations, people are being sensitised towards the danger of coronavirus and the directions issued by the government. Violators are also being made to take oath to follow Covid guidelines,' said Deepak Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East).
In southwest Delhi, the district team along with Deputy Commissioner of Police Ingit Pratap Singh patrolled the streets and gave roses to the violators while educating them.
'Violators are being educated with a rose as token and not being issued challan only for today (Sunday). We began this as there were complaints all over Delhi that police was being harsh on violators. So, the violators will be stopped today but won't be fined. We will give them masks and roses,' said a senior police officer said.
According to a data shared by Delhi Police, a total of 6,50,768 challans were issued for mask violation till 4 pm on Saturday from June 15 this year while 3,774 were issued for spitting and 48,037 for violating social distancing.
The police said they have collected a total of Rs 11 crores in fines last month for various COVID-19 violations, including spitting and social distancing violations.
In outer Delhi, police started the awareness drive by 'welcoming' lockdown violators with roses and masks. They were briefed and sensitized and were also asked to follow social distancing and use sanitizers at all times.
Parvinder Singh, DCP (Outer District) said, 'Our teams are sensitising and briefing people about the violations. Free masks were provided and we seek their (public) cooperation to fight Covid in the city.' 'We need to also make people aware of staying safe and ensure that others also stay safe. Challan is a deterrent but our prime focus is to also to create awareness and if anyone is found violating norms, we are giving them masks and gloves. We are educating them about the protocols that they need to strictly follow,' he said. PTI AMP TDS TDS