WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Photos and videos circulating across national news and social media show incidents of police brutality in India as they try to implement the coronavirus lockdown.
- Indian locals say that the police had beaten them down with batons, ordering them to follow lockdown protocols put in place by the national government.
- New Delhi Police has denied allegations of police brutality and ignored the number of evidence available.
Indian Police wearing surgical masks have been photographed and videotaped displaying police brutality — such as beating citizens with batons — in efforts to impose lockdown guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a total lockdown on Tuesday. Any civilian is not allowed to leave their homes to stifle the spread of the coronavirus in the country. The nationwide lockdown will hold the country’s 1.3 billion population indoors for 21 days.
The Prime Minister’s address to the nation was broadcasted on television. “To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family … every street, every neighborhood is being put under lockdown.”
The Indian Police implemented the guidelines immediately after the lockdown went into effect.
Several TV news reports have since shown footage of locals in the streets of the southern state of Kerala beaten down with police batons to follow the lockdown protocols.
Alok Barman, a house worker in south Delhi homes, claims that he was beaten down by the police when he was found outside his house on his way to the outskirts of the city.
“Some homes that I work in paid me some money and I thought it was best to get some food in the house. But the police attacked us with sticks and beat us,” Barman said. “Now we have nothing to eat.”
Tarique Anwar was headed to Jamia Nagar neighborhood in Delhi for a grocery run to buy milk and vegetables when the police ordered him to go home.
Zakir Nagar claims that the police came up to his shop, smashed the place, and beat him for opening his meat shop. “They charged inside and started abusing and beating me,” Nagar said.
A representative for the New Delhi Police, Anil Mittal, denied allegations of police brutality, despite the circulating evidence in the form of pictures and videos.
There are now more than 600 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India as of Wednesday.
Source: New York Post