AHMEDABAD: Clicking selfies has been made a criminal offence in Gujarat's Dang district in a bid to check accidents due to such activities, officials said on Tuesday. Dang in south Gujarat is quite popular among tourists, specially during monsoons, for its picturesque hill station Saputara and waterfalls.
With the decrease in cases of coronavirus, people have started visiting the hill station in large numbers in the current rainy season. If people are caught taking selfies in Dang, action could be taken against them under criminal offence provisions, district's resident additional collector TD Damor told PTI.
The official said these kind of restrictions were in place in Dang since the last two-three years and they have now been extended through a fresh notification issued earlier this month. "The aim behind the decision is to stop accidents which claimed lives of some people in the past and also injured many," Damor said.
"People, especially youngsters, in their attempt to click a good selfie, can go to any extent and harm themselves. Many cases of people falling into gorge or being swept away in water current were recorded in the past. In some cases, people also died while many got injured," he noted.
The official said the district administrations has put up hoardings and billboards at various tourist places, warning visitors of the dangers of taking selfies there. In July 2018, a man died after falling into a gorge in Saputara while taking a selfie.
Besides, a person drowned in the Gira waterfalls located nearby while clicking a selfie in August 2018, as per reports. According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, between 2011 and 2017, 259 deaths were reported while people were taking selfies and about half of them were from India.
"From October 2011 to November 2017, there have been 259 deaths while clicking selfies in 137 incidents. The mean age was 22.94 years. About 72.5 per cent of the total deaths occurred in males and 27.5 per cent in females," the institution said in its study uploaded online.
The highest number of incidents and selfie-deaths has been reported in India, followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan. Drowning, transport, and fall form the topmost reasons for deaths caused by selfies, it said.
"We also classified reasons for deaths due to selfie as risky behaviour or non-risky behaviour. Risky behaviour caused more deaths and incidents due to selfies than non-risky behaviour. The highest number of incidents and selfie-deaths has been reported in India accounting for approximately 50 per cent of total reported deaths," the institution said.