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Punished for Flouting Lockdown, Foreigners Strolling in Rishikesh Ordered to Write 'I'm Sorry' 500 Times

Foreigners made to write "I am sorry" for strolling on banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh despite lockdown. (News18)

Foreigners made to write "I am sorry" for strolling on banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh despite lockdown. (News18)

Even with the lockdown in place, the Uttarakhand government has relaxed curbs on movement from 7am to 1pm for people to complete their chores and get supplies. However, roaming around without any reason is not permitted.

Dehradun: At least 10 foreign nationals, who were caught taking a stroll along the banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh, were made to write "I am sorry" 500 times by the police for flouting the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Even with the lockdown in place, the Uttarakhand government has relaxed curbs on movement from 7am to 1pm for people to complete their chores and get supplies. However, roaming around without any reason is not permitted, said Vinod Sharma, in-charge of the police post in Tapowan.

The tourists, hailing from the United States, Australia, Mexico and Israel, were asked if they were aware of the restrictions. As punishment, they were each ordered to write "I did not follow the lockdown, I am sorry" 500 times on sheets of paper.

Sharma said the police could not permit foreigners to go out on strolls while locals were locked up inside, adding that the punishment would send a strong message.

The police said they will direct hotels in the town to allow foreigner guests to step out only if accompanied by local helpers. Hoteliers not following the order could face legal action, they said.

Rishikesh is popular haunt for foreign tourists. However, following the lockdown, the embassies of France, Italy and the US flew back many of their nationals from the temple town.

first published:April 11, 2020, 18:08 IST