'Yamraj', the God of Death, roamed the streets of Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh, reminding people of the perils of stepping out of their homes during the coronavirus outbreak and warning to take anyone not following social distancing or the lockdown to the underworld.
"I am 'Yamraj', I am coronavirus. If you do not adhere to the rules, no human will be left on the planet. I will become the cause of death of all. If you are careless, I will take you with me," he spoke into a mic, with a sickle in the other hand and policemen in tow.
"No one should violate the lockdown and step out unnecessarily. A handkerchief can be used as a face mask, wash your hands repeatedly with soap, use sanitisers and maintain a distance of one to two metres from each other. This will ensure everyone's safety," he said.
Wherever 'Yamraj' went, people, young and old, gathered at their doorsteps and listened to him carefully. However, there was no fear and many used their mobile phones to click his photos.
This method was deployed by Bahraich police to spread awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic and tell people how precautions like social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks can protect them against the disease.
Dressed as 'Yamraj' in a black attire with a touch of gold and red was policeman Lavkush Mishra from Baundi police station. A faux Hungarian moustache and a gold crown complete his look.
Baundi police station in-charge Brahmanand Singh said, "We experimented with this idea in our area to spread awareness about COVID-19 and it was successful."
About his colleague Mishra, he said he is fond of acting and before joining the police force, he used to act in Ramlila.