Bengaluru: Mask-rule violators taken for Covid test | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: BBMP marshals allegedly bundled people violating social distancing norms and not wearing masks correctly into an ambulance and administered rapid antigen tests for Covid-19 in New Gudadhahalli here on Friday. They were allegedly acting under directions of the civic agency officials.
A TOI photographer spotted three marshals forcibly getting at least six people board an ambulance near the road leading to JJ Nagar from Mysuru Road, next to the Jewish Cemetery. A man in khaki was flagging down vehicles with people violating the mask rule.
No one was taken for tests forcibly: Officials
While those taken away protested, some produced papers to prove they had already been tested. The marshals refused to budge and managed to take away four men. The ambulance took the men to a roadside testing point near Idgah Maidan in Chamarajpet where the men underwent rapid antingen tests.
Ramesh, one of those taken for testing, later told TOI, “I was heading
to my place of work in an autorickshaw with three friends when we were stopped by BBMP marshals who said we were not maintaining social distancing. I was forced to undergo a rapid antigen test. We couldn’t stop them,” he said.
BBMP officials, however, denied that anyone was taken forcibly for tests. D Randeep, special commissioner, BBMP said, “There is no written or oral order passed to marshals to do anything beyond their brief. No one is forced to undergo tests. A test is done when someone is a primary contact or symptomatic.”
Nine teams comprising marshals, policemen and BBMP officials were in Chamarajpet to enforce social distancing and mask rules.
“Two vans accompanied these teams. If people don’t pay the fine, they will be made to wait till they pay the amount. No one is tested until he or she requests it,” said west zone joint commissioner Chidananda N.
‘Marshals can impose fines’
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N Manjunatha Prasad, commissioner, BBMP, said, “Marshals are authorised to impose fines on those not wearing a mask or not following social distancing norms. If they’re unable to pay the fine, they are taken to the nearest police station.”



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Sagar Biswas

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