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Haryana planning to impose fine on those not wearing masks: Home minister

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Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The Haryana government is mulling imposing fine on those not wearing masks and violating social distancing norms, state Home Minister Anil Vij said on Wednesday.

Wearing of masks has been made mandatory for people in the state when they are outside their homes.

The Haryana government is contemplating imposing a fine on those who are found without a mask and violating social distancing norms, the minister told reporters.

Vij said that he has written to the state home secretary in this regard to work out modalities. Quantum of fine can be decided later, he said replying to a question.

I have written to the state home secretary to work out modalities so that those found not wearing mask in public and not maintaining social distancing can be fined.., Vij said.

He also said that if people do not follow other guidelines like not spitting in public, fines can be imposed on these violators too.

If people want that (lockdown) relaxations should be there and these should continue, then rules will have to be made strict. When it seems that we may have to live with the novel coronavirus, tough rules and laws are needed, Vij said.

The state home minister, a week ago, had said a law should be introduced making violation of social distancing rules a criminal offence as many economic activities have restarted amidst the easing of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Vij had also said that law was needed as it has been observed that people don't always follow advisories.

When asked about the ongoing investigations by a Special Enquiry Team (SET) set up to probe theft of huge stock of seized liquor from two godowns in Sonipat, he said the government will take action based on a report, which will be submitted by May 31.

On the Congress, the main opposition party in Haryana, pointing fingers at the ruling BJP-JJP coalition in connection with the missing liquor case, Vij said when any such thing used to come to light during their (Congress) tenure, it used to be swept under the carpet, but the present government believes in punishing the guilty, whosoever it may be.

On the Congress' allegations that the probe team constituted in connection with the theft of liquor stock lacks powers, Vij said he has given necessary directions to the state home secretary that the team should have powers to summon and question anyone.

I have written to the home secretary that powers should be given to the SET under Section 32 of CrPC, 1973to exercise the duty assigned by the state government in an effective manner, I would like that powers conferred under CrPC 1973 be extended to the additional chief secretary heading the SET.., he said.

Asked about the 76 people from Haryana, who were deported from the US, Vij said that he has deputed a senior official to find out under what circumstances they were arrested or whether they may have fallen to unscrupulous travel agents.

I have deputed a senior official who will ask each one of them why they were deported Whether they fell in the trap of unscrupulous travel agents.

Whether they gave money to any such agent. We will register case if it is found that any unscrupulous travel agent is involved in this, he said.

These 76 were part of a group of over 160 Indians who arrived at Amritsar in Punjab by a special chartered flight on Tuesday.

Most of the deported Indian nationals had entered the US from its southern border with Mexico and had exhausted all legal options. They were arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE while trying to enter the US illegally.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 22:11 IST
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