Sabapathy, the DSP at the police training facility in Thanjavur, said that he has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and a booster shot, which he claimed exempts him from wearing a mask.

Thanjavur DSP refuses to wear mask, caught on video arguing with Chennai copsImage courtesy: BehindwoodsAir/Screengrab
news Controversy Sunday, January 23, 2022 - 12:54

A video of a maskless man, identified to be a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), arguing with police personnel near Anna Nagar in Chennai has gone viral in the past few days. The man, who identifies himself as Sabapathy, the DSP at the police training facility in Thanjavur, is seen refusing to wear a mask and demands to be shown the government order that empowers the police to enforce the mask rule.

Sabapathy, who was riding a bike without a mask or helmet, was stopped on the road by police personnel in Anna Nagar. The argument began after he was asked to pull over as part of the routine checks conducted by police across the state to enforce the state government’s COVID-19 regulations, which include having to be masked at all times when outside.

Sabapathy is reported to have also said that he has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and an additional booster shot, which he claimed exempts him from having to wear a mask. He also insisted that the Anna Nagar police produce form 95 – the document issued when a vehicle is seized to be sent to court – after the police personnel told him to surrender his bike.

When the Anna Nagar police personnel reply that a challan will be given, Sabapthy is seen asking “who gave you the authority to issue challans?” In the video, he also invokes the Constitution to claim that the police cannot record the ongoing argument to which the Chennai police say that they have instructions from both the Inspector General and the Greater Chennai Corporation to take photos and videos of people flouting the mask rule.

The New Indian Express reports that Sabapathy apparently got into a similar argument last year in October with police in Arumbakkam.

According to reports, senior officials in the police have given assurance that action will be taken against the DSP.

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