Ten foreign tourists have been punished for flouting the coronavirus lockdown in India by being made to write out lines including “I am sorry” 500 times on pieces of paper.
The nationwide lockdown was imposed near the end of March, with residents permitted to leave their homes only for essential services such as buying groceries and medicine.
The travellers – from Israel, Mexico
, Australia and Austria – were caught taking a walk in Rishikesh, where The Beatles sought spirituality at an Ashram in 1968.
Local police officer Vinod Sharma said they were each made to write ‘I did not follow the rules of lockdown so I am so sorry’ 500 times.
More than 700 foreign tourists from the US, Australia, Mexico and Israel staying in the area had flouted the lockdown rules, Sharma said, adding the unusual punishment was handed out to teach them a lesson.
Police said they would direct hotels in the area to allow foreign guests to step out only if accompanied by local helpers.
Establishments that did not follow the order could face legal action, Sharma said.
In another news, police said they arrested nine people violating the lockdown after an officer’s hand was chopped off in northern Punjab state’s Patiala district.
The group were stopped in a vehicle at a checkpoint and refusing to turn back as ordered, hit the accelerator and smashed into steel barricades, officials said.
During the clash, one of them pulled out a sword, slicing off a policeman’s hand. Six more officers were injured in the attack, police said.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to extend a nationwide lockdown that was originally slated to end on Tuesday, for another two weeks.
On Sunday, India had registered more than 8,300 coronavirus cases and 273 deaths from the disease.