A constable in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh has been removed from duty and a probe initiated against him after he allegedly made five labourers squat and hop on the road while they were walking to their homes amid the lockdown.
A video of the incident, which appears to have been shot by a passer-by and has since gone viral, shows five labourers with backpacks squatting and hopping on the directions of a policeman who has two sticks in his hands. Three of the labourers start walking later, but the policeman tells them to squat and hop again.
It appears that the police intercepted the labourers while they were walking to their hometowns after the government announced the 21-day lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19 and all means of transport stopped operations.
Officials said the video was shot on Wednesday at Naweda Chauraha in Badaun, officials said.
Badaun police have issued an apology and called for action against the policeman. “The video belongs to our region. Police had been deployed on the streets soon after the lockdown announcement. Senior constables were also present during the checking and they immediately removed him from duty once they came to know of his act. As chief of the district, I apologise and feel ashamed since the action was unwarranted,” said SP Ashok Kumar Tripathi. According to officials, an inquiry has been initiated against the policeman, Vikrant.
Jitendra Srivastava, SP City, who is probing the matter, said Vikrant joined as a trainee constable three months ago and is under probation. “By Friday, I will gather more information about the incident. Strict action will be taken accordingly and the guilty will not be spared,” said Srivastava.
According to local residents and officials, several men from NCR and other districts have been seen walking towards different parts of Uttar Pradesh after the lockdown was announced. The crossing at which the video was shot connects three cities Mathura, Bareilly and Sambhal.
“After the incident, the men in the video went on one of the highways and walked further on,” said an official from Civil Lines Police Station.
Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: Are smokers at high risk form coronavirus? | Can Vitamin-C prevent or cure coronavirus infection? | What exactly is community spread of coronavirus? | How long can the Covid-19 virus survive on a surface? | Amid the lockdown, what is allowed, what is prohibited?
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines