Jewelry store owner assaults Chennai city official for penalizing those who don’t wear masks

A Greater Chennai Corporation (GCP) official has filed a complaint at Mylapore Police Station after he was harassed by a jewelry store owner during a citywide campaign to enforce the use of face masks in public due to a recent increase in Covid cases as it stands. A video of the incident has since gone viral.

By Thursday afternoon, city officials had visited the jewelery store on Bazaar Road in Mylapore for an inspection. As seen in the video, after authorities began taking action against those spotted inside the store without face masks, store owner Shantha Kumar grabbed the health inspector’s collar and raised his voice. He let go after store staff members soothed him.

“A total of 13 people, including staff and customers at this store, were not wearing masks. We gave a warning and said that we will impose a fine of Rs 1000 for two people and next time we will take stricter measures. As I was writing down the details, the store owner grabbed my shirt and started abusing me for collecting the fine. I informed my area officer and other officials and registered a complaint with the local police and they are investigating. The store has been sealed,” C Murali, who works as a health inspector in Division 124 of Area 9, told indianexpress.com.

A week ago, the civic body announced that with the surge in Covid-19 cases across the state, especially in Chennai, people should be required to wear masks in public places.

He was informed that a team would monitor places such as markets, commercial buildings, shopping malls, theatres, wedding halls, government and private offices and hospitals where large numbers of people are expected to visit and offenders would be fined Rs 500 under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939.

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