Lockdown games: How to hoodwink the cops

April 18, 2020

THANE: A Byculla resident recently called up a politician seeking help to travel to Dadar to source vegetarian food from a certain eatery for his ailing and elderly mother. The man was offered food from a local outlet, the option of home delivery, and even a police escort to the Dadar restaurant. But he stubbornly stuck to his demand for a travel pass. After a lot of digging, the real story emerged--the man admitted it was a ruse to source liquor from his regular outlet near Dadar.

In Thane, a senior bureaucrat recently spotted a resident zooming past on his bike with his two toddlers. The man, when intercepted, told the authorities he wanted his kids to experience their first-ever curfew and make it memorable. “We initially thought the man was simply giving an excuse, but we later saw him click selfies with his children,” said the stunned bureaucrat.

Known as ‘Covidiots’, this breed of citizens that recklessly steps out of their homes oblivious to the lockdown and without a care for their own safety or that of others has become the bane of authorities.

The police and municipal authorities say they usually let off such people with a warning. “We can understand the predicament of residents, but if anyone is found to be a habitual mischiefmonger, we will take appropriate action,” said an official.

Dodging the authorities seems to have become an art that some have perfected and catching them may not be easy. Like the Kalwa resident who set out from his home every morning and evening with a bag full of vegetables. “This man used to tell the authorities he had stepped out to buy veggies for his ailing wife when, in fact, he used to venture out because he was missing his walking regime,” said a local corporator.

Meanwhile, a senior inspector from a Thane police station informed how a ‘bored’ labourer at a construction site recently sent the entire machinery into a tizzy after he called up and alerted them about 40 starving labourers. “We later realised the man had made a prank call as he was desperate to move out of the site.”

Dr Anand Nadkarni, consultant psychiatrist at the Institute for Psychological Health, Thane, said the lockdown may trigger eccentricities among some people. In others, the isolation might have brought to the fore underlying existing personality disorders. Expressing concern over the term ‘covidiot’, Nadkarni said it would end up creating another social stigma against distressed people who would, instead, benefit from a helping hand to overcome their anxieties.

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Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com