Indian cops nab 1 000 smokers in public

New Delhi - About 1 000 people were arrested for smoking in public places in Madras in the southern Indian state of Tamilnadu, news reports said on Friday.

The United News of India (UNI) reported that on Friday the Madras police picked up more than 1 000 smokers from market places and city suburbs in compliance with the week-old order by the Supreme Court of India.

The people arrested were produced in court and released after they paid fines ranging from 50-500 rupees (between R9 and R90).

Smoking in public places has been banned in India since November 2.

The court has directed all state governments to ban smoking in hospitals, educational institutions, libraries, courts and on public transportation.

The court has also directed the police to strictly implement the provisions of the Cigarette Act 1975, to ensure the proper regulation, supply and distribution of cigarettes.

Smoking claims about 800 000 lives in India every year, health officials estimate. - Sapa-DPA

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