Travel has metamorphosed into something the world has never seen before in response to COVID-19.
Lockdowns in major countries have restricted tourists from moving freely.
But when some tourists didn’t let a deadly virus hinder their vacation in India, it resulted in a punishment we’ve only seen in second-grade classrooms.
Rishikesh, India is known for its Saris at Garhwal Wool, bungee jumping in Mohanchatti, and whitewater rafting down the Ganges River.
But what really put Rishikesh on the map is when The Beatles visited in 1968 seeking spirituality at an Ashram there.
Now, Rishikesh is known as “The Yoga Capital of the World”.
But recently, ten foreigners from Israel, Mexico, Australia, and Austria were caught by local police walking the streets of Rishikesh in violation of the strict lockdown policies implemented in the country.
The lockdown began in late March and only permitted residents to leave their homes for essential services.
Unfortunately, local police officer Vinod Sharma did not think following a travel itinerary was essential.
And as punishment, tourists were forced to write, “I did not follow the rules of lockdown, so I am so sorry,” 500 times reports Yahoo News.
This punishment is often seen in elementary classrooms or at the kitchen table after a child speaks disrespectfully, but never by law enforcement to misbehaving adults.
The extraordinary punishment was given in response to more than 700 tourists disregarding lockdown rules to continue their travel plans, Sharma said.
In addition to writing sentences, police are also going to hotels and only permitting foreign guests to leave when accompanied by a “local helper,” Yahoo News reports.
While the tourists may have had cramps in their hands after their punishment, they made it off easy in comparison to the citizens of India who are caught breaking lockdown rules.
Officers have been seen in videos posted to social media “beating drivers on roadsides and making people out and about during lockdown do squats and leapfrogs as punishment,” Yahoo News reveals, along with making citizens wear coronavirus-shaped helmets.
The lockdown has driven some individuals to extreme and aggressive behavior.
A group of people were stopped at a vehicle checkpoint in northern Punjab, where they crashed into a steel barricade.
Nine people were arrested and one officer’s hand was chopped off when one of the offenders drew a sword.
Only in India…
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to extend the nationwide lockdown by another two weeks in days to come.
The country has reported 273 deaths out of 8,300 cases, but figures are hard to track.
Nevertheless, if you had plans to visit the Taj Mahal anytime soon (as it seems you can enter the country), or you’re stuck in India during the pandemic, don’t forget to pack a nice set of no. 2 pencils when you go sightseeing.
You may need them when you’re caught!