With numerous reports of police brutality meted out to people amid the nationwide lockdown, Activist & Political Analyst Tehseen Poonawalla has sought the immediate intervention of the National Human Rights Commission.
In his complaint, Poonawalla has highlighted the plight of migrant workers whose livelihoods have been grossly affected by the declaration of a nationwide lockdown. He states that on top of these hardships, the ensuing beating(s) by police officials has added to the plight of marginal sections.
"An unfortunate incident happened on 25/03/2020 a man named Lal Swami who was about 32 years
old a resident of Howrah district, in West Bengal was brutally beaten by the police and then taken to hospital and declared dead on arrival. Later upon inquiry his family informed that Lal Swamy had left the house to buy milk" states the complaint.
Appreciating the efforts of Police Personnel for being at the frontlines in "such a difficult period", the complaint alleges use of unrestrained power by Police to effectuate the lockdown.
"It is further important to note that some Police officers are also seen hitting people who come under the category of "people rendering essential services" and are seen physically striking them."
In light of this, the Activist has appealed to the NHRC for taking Suo Motu cognizance of the perilious situation & bar police officers from inflicting injuries and/or harming people.
"The officers must first inquire the reason why the person is out during the lockdown and accordingly take action stipulated under the law", states Poonawalla in his complaint to the authority, adding that governments must arrange for adequate transport, water and food for the poor migrants trying to reach home instead of subjecting them to brutality.
On March 24, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
According to Ministerial Guidelines, the lockdown stipulated strict implementation of a curfew for a period of 21 days with effect from midnight of March 25, 2020. Movement of people has been restricted but "essential services" have been exempted from such curbs.
Since the issuance of aforesaid lockdown orders, various reports have emerged across social media platforms depicting police brutality on violators.
Click Here To Download Letter