The video clips caused an uproar on social media though there were instances where such strong-arm tactics being employed by police forces in several states was defended.
There has been widespread outrage over policemen beating those violating curfew imposed due to novel coronavirus across Punjab after several video clips showing violators being lathicharged and abused went viral on social media in the past couple of days.
In one clip, an SHO moving about in a black Scorpio is seen directing police personnel to thrash persons on the streets with lathis. The persons are seen requesting not to be beaten but the policemen land several blows on their legs and arms. In another video clip, a person with a visibly handicapped person riding pillion is stopped and made to rub his nose in dirt.
Several such clips have emerged from various parts of the state. In another clip, two youths are seen being beaten by cops in uniform and plain clothes even as their pleas for forgiveness go in vain.
“Uncle rehne do ji, uncle please (Uncle please let it be),” the youths plead as a slipper is used by one cop to slap them repeatedly while another thrashes them with a lathi.
Navdeep Singh, an advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court, took to Twitter to protest against such treatment.
“Dear @PunjabPoliceInd, you might want to look into this and identify these people? The citizenry as well as the police are facing stressful moments and anxiety, but this is not the way to instill confidence in the public,” he tweeted.
The video clips caused an uproar on social media though there were instances where such strong-arm tactics being employed by police forces in several states was defended. Among those who backed police action was Gen VK Singh (retd), former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of State of Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.
“Sab Police karmiyon se nivedan hai ki haath mein gloves pehen na na bhoolein. Aap apni jaan jokhim mein daal kar kich moorkhon ko anushasit kar rahe hain. Dhanyavaad (All policemen are requested that they should not forget to wear gloves on their hands. You are putting your lives at risk to discipline some fools. Thanks),” he said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said people were facing problems related to medicines, especially in the rural areas, which is why they were stepping out.
“The restrictions and curfew were imposed all of a sudden and therefore certain arrangements could not be made. But people are facing genuine problems and are also stuck in several towns and villages away from their home. They have no option but to move out to get to their places of residence,” he said.
The LoP sounded a note of caution for the Punjab Police, saying cops should function within the ambit of law. “The curfew has not been imposed due to law and order problems. It has been imposed because of health reasons. Do not use so much force that people rise against you and stop your entry into villages,” he said.
The Director General of Police, Dinkar Gupta, did not respond to the issue.
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