BJP MLA Siddharth Shirole on Friday said that he has received multiple complaints of "ill-treatment" of citizens by the Pune Police in the past few days, especially when it comes to enforcing the COVID-19 protocols of masks worn by four-wheeler drivers and passengers.
The Shivajinagar MLA said that he understands the need to have strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines, but "it doesn’t have to be a hostile environment of having multiple cops at every junction who are focused on finding as many violations as possible rather than educating citizens".
Shirole added that the police are collecting fines only via cash and issuing paper receipts. He raised 'strong objections' against this and said, "Given the pandemic all modes of digital payments and e-challans should be encouraged and recommended".
The BJP MLA further said that he will personally meet Pune Commissioner Dr Venkatesham and Pune City Traffic DCP Prasad Akkanouru and share these concerns. "I will work in co-ordinations with the police to help come up with a better SOP to enforcing COVID-19 guidelines & collecting fines," he further said.
Earlier, the Pune city police said that they have stopped taking action against solo drivers without masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many citizens complained that the police were imposing fines on solo drivers even when the car windows were rolled up, reported TOI.
Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve said that if police have taken action against the solo car occupants without masks, in last few days, they can approach police with their grievances.