Man wears bank note as a mask
Man in Meerut, India wears banknote as a mask Image Credit: Twitter

Some called it mischief, while some called it a form of protest, when a man in Meerut, India stuck a Rs 10 note on his face because he did not have a mask.

The man, Amir and his friend, Mehboob, were caught loitering the streets by the police. After being confronted by a cop, one decided to use a handkerchief, while the other decided to stick a banknote on his face.

Amir justified using the Rs 10 note as a mask by reportedly saying: "A mask costs Rs 40 and I had only Rs 10. So, I used it as a mask. We live in the Parikshitgarh area of the district and had come to the city to collect payment from our employer.”

"I was on lockdown duty on Sunday when a bike carrying two youths crossed by. The one driving the motorcycle was wearing a handkerchief and the pillion rider quickly pasted a Rs 10 note on his face. When questioned, the pillion rider, Amit, admitted that he did not have a mask. We gave him two masks and warned him not to move around without wearing one," a local police official, Sanjeev Deshwal, told Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).

The video of the incident was posted online, in which a police personnel is seen handing the men masks.

An FIR was registered against the two contractual workers.

According to a March report by The Economic Times, People claimed surgical masks which usually sell for Rs 10 were being sold for Rs 40 or higher, and N95 masks which sell for around Rs 150 were being sold for up to Rs 500, after the demand increased during the coronavirus outbreak.

The issue was discussed on social media.

User @skmy03 tweet at the Ministry of Health in India: “@MoHFW_INDIA Why the prices of masks been hiked? Rs.70 for a single mask! Seriously? How will the poor be able to afford a mask and safeguard themselves? In my opinion, seeing the situation now, the price of mask should be reduced so maximum number of people can use it.”