Twelve people have been arrested for allegedly pelting stones at policemen during the lockdown in two separate incidents in Assam, officials said Saturday.
In Bongaigaon district, when policemen went to shut down shops, they were pelted with stones on Saturday morning. In retaliation, police had to fire aerially.
Singha Ram Mili, the SP Bongaigaon told The Indian Express, “They have not been following the orders, and shops other than the ones exempted, had opened. Police went to ask them to shut the shops. Once the market closed, a group of persons came out and pelted stones. We had to fire eight rounds in the air.” Four persons have been arrested till now in the incident.
In Dhubri district’s Chapar a police team was pelted stones at when they went to ensure a local market was closed down as per the lockdown orders on Friday evening.
Yuvraj, the SP of Dhubri, told The Indian Express that in the stone-pelting one constable was seriously injured. “Miscreants pelted stones at the police. We have arrested eight persons as of now and more arrests are expected,” the officer said.
“I’m anguished at the reports of stone pelting on our security personnel, who were enforcing lockdown for safety and security of the people, at some places,” tweeted Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. “I request everyone to cooperate with our security forces and maintain social distancing,” he added.
I’m anguished at the reports of stone pelting on our security personnel, who were enforcing #Lockdown21 for safety and security of the people, at some places.
I request everyone to cooperate with our security forces and maintain social distancing.
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) March 28, 2020
Earlier this week, multiple videos showing policemen thrashing people on the streets during the lockdown in Assam emerged, even as the police justified the harsh measures, saying they are necessary for the safety of the state’s population against the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In video footage broadcast by Assamese television channels, policemen could be seen chasing people on the roads away, often thrashing them with lathis and shouting that they should be in their homes during the 21-day lockdown period announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.