Hyderabad: Any person caught spitting paan, chewable tobacco or non-tobacco products, and sputum in public places will be booked under non-bailable offence with imprisonment up to two years with fine, the Telangana police said on 9 April.
In view of the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the government, on 8 April, had banned spitting in public places in the interest of public health and safety. The ban is imposed across the state.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in both personal as well as public places and the need to impose restrictions on unhealthy practices that may potentially lead to the spread of such viruses and other infections. The habit of public spitting poses a serious threat to the spread of such infections,” the government had said in a statement.
A day after the ban, Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar took to social media and announced, “If anyone is caught spitting at public places, he/she is liable to be punished under section 188 and 269 Indian Penal Code. Nature of evidence is photography, video graph, and CCTV footage or eye witness.”
The commissioner told NewsMeter, “Anyone caught on CCTV camera spitting in public places will be booked. Besides this, an individual can take pictures/videos of the violator and inform the police with due evidence. Also, in case a police officer himself finds a person spitting, the officer is authorised to book a case.”
Meanwhile, Cyberabad commissioner V.C Sajjanar said, “There are around 1.14 lakh CCTV cameras in the Cyberabad commissionerate limits. Spiting in public is now a non-bailable offence with imprisonment up to two years and fine.”
In line with the two police commissioners, Mahesh Bhagwat, the police chief of Rachakonda commissionerate, added, “People can act as citizen police. Individuals are welcome to upload pictures or videos of offenders on social media and tag the police. Besides this, individuals can send evidence on WhatApp to 9490614111 or the Corona control number 9490617234. Based on the evidence action will be taken. There are around 1.15 lakh cameras and 10,000 community cameras within the Rachakonda limits.”
Telangana’s COVID-19 death toll reached 12 after the state reported one more death on 9 April. The state also reported 18 new Corona virus cases on Thursday, alone taking the tally to 471 total cases, of which 45 are cured and discharged.