Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar had on Saturday issued orders vide GO 68 empowering the police and district administrations to initiate action against those not wearing masks. With this, teams of police personnel are now on the job to detect those not wearing masks and also those who are not wearing them properly.

A senior officer with the Hyderabad City Police said instructions were issued on Saturday night itself to all the Station House Officers to initiate action against persons not wearing masks. Similarly, the Traffic Police will book cases for violation after taking photographs of the violators. Violations will be checked from the Command and Control Centre as well.

Police in the neighbouring Rachakonda and the Cyberabad Commissionerates too have issued instructions to different wings including the Law & Order and the Traffic Police to register cases against violators.

“On Sunday, we just warned those moving around without masks. From Monday onwards, cases will be booked against violators and action will be initiated,” a Cyberabad Police official said.

The Telangana State Police, during the lockdown last year, had used Artificial Intelligence to detect those not wearing masks moving around on the roads and had booked cases against them. It has not been made clear whether the same strategy will be used now.

According to officials, the police will be empowered to book cases under Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and Section 188 of the IPC. Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act attracts imposition of a fine, imprisonment up to two years or both, while Section 188 of the IPC will attract imprisonment up to six months, a fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.

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