Ten foreigners who broke a coronavirus lockdown in an Indian town were handed an unforgettable schoolboy-like punishment on Sunday by the police.
They were forced to atone by writing “I am so sorry” — 500 times.
The incident involving the foreigners happened in Rishikresh, a town made famous by the Beatles in 1968. The city is also a world centre for yoga.
India imposed a nationwide lockdown near the end of March.
Residents are permitted to leave their homes only for essential services such as buying groceries and medicine.
The travellers — from Israel, Mexico, Australia and Austria — were caught taking a walk.
Local police officer Vinod Sharma said they were each made to write 500 times “I did not follow the rules of lockdown so I am so sorry.”
More than 700 foreign tourists from the US, Australia, Mexico and Israel staying in the area had flouted the lockdown rules, Sharma said, adding the unusual punishment was handed out to teach them a lesson.
Police said they would direct hotels in the area to allow foreign guests to step out only if accompanied by local helpers.
Establishments that did not follow the order could face legal action, Sharma said.
Police have come up with unusual methods to encourage people to stay home to halt the spread of the deadly disease, including wearing coronavirus-shaped helmets.
But officers in some states were also seen in videos on social media beating drivers on roadsides and making people out and about during lockdown do squats and leapfrogs as punishment.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to extend by two weeks the nationwide lockdown in a broadcast today.
The lockdown was originally slated to end on Tuesday. .
Some states have already extended the restrictions.
On Sunday, India had registered more than 9,240 coronavirus cases and 331 deaths from the disease.