Police personnel along with employees of civil departments deputed for challaning people for not wearing masks are facing tough moments while actually issuing the challans. Heated arguments, attempts to force challaning officers to talk with their known VIP contacts by violators are routine especially at Sukhna Lake. The lake became one of the most visited place after the 43-day long curfew in Chandigarh was lifted.
On Fridya, a turbaned man dressed in T-shirt and jean, and his colleague were was intercepted at Sukhna Lake for not wearing a mask. Though the two had handkerchief around their necks, these were not covering their face and nose. As the challaning officer, Inderjeet Singh, along with a police constable Anil approached the two, the turbaned man introduced himself as a Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officer.
Constable Anil asked the man to show his identity card, following which the man asked them to come to his car. Eyewitnesses informed that within moments, the two men sat in their car and left from the parking lot, leaving constable Anil standing by.
Moments later, five people indulged in arguments with the challaning team when they were approached for issuing the challans. They were taking selfies with uncovered faces when a member of the challaning team clicked their pictures as proof to show them that they were without masks. After much persual, one of the five men was challaned for not wearing mask. The five persons hailed from Yamunanagar district in Haryana.
“Sometimes, it is fun to hear the lame excuses people give for not being challaned. I removed the mask for drinking water, I was cleaning my face, or I was to take a selfie are the common excuses,” said an eyewitness, who is a regular visitor at Sukhna.
“People do indulge in heated arguments with us, but we are not sparing anyone. Apart from police personnel, executive magistrates from Estate Office, MC etc were also assigned the task for challaning people. We have provided them officers for their security. They count their challans separately and we count our challans separately. As many as 35-40 challans are being issued everyday at Sukhna Lake,” said SI Jaspal Singh, incharge of PP Sukhna Lake.
“The idea behind allowing people to visit Sukhna Lake was given them opportunity to do long walks, physical exercise etc. But people are coming here for picnics, celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries etc,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines