National

Assam cops attacked for enforcing COVID-19 lockdown

Mass violation of social distancing norms across Assam made the authorities shut all markets after an initial relaxation.

Mass violation of social distancing norms across Assam made the authorities shut all markets after an initial relaxation.  

Mass violation of social distancing norms when markets were opened briefly

The police in Assam are finding themselves at the other end of the stick after allegedly using them to enforce the COVID-19 lockdown. On Saturday morning, a group of traders and customers attacked a police team in western Assam’s Bongaigaon district when they tried to close the shops at Bodi Bazaar. Two constables — one attacked with sticks and the other hit by a brick — were admitted at a local hospital.

A similar incident happened at the Phalimari Bazaar in the adjoining Dhubri district on Friday. Some 300 people who had gathered there in violation of the guidelines pelted stones at a police team that tried to make them go home.

“Our men fired a few rounds in the air to disperse the violent crowd,” Bongaigaon’s SP Singha Ram Mili said.

The police in the two districts registered FIRs against more than a dozen people involved in the assault cases.

The State government had on Friday relaxed the lockdown to enable people to procure essentials items, vegetables, fish and meat. But mass violation of social distancing norms across Assam made the authorities shut all markets almost immediately till further orders.

“We cannot back off from implementing the lockdown we have been tasked with. We will have to take action according to the law if people resort to violence,” said G.P. Singh, Addl. DGP (Law and Order) who toured the two markets on Saturday.

Officials in Arunachal Pradesh have accused the Assam police personnel of taking bribes from truckers transporting essential commodities to the frontier State.

In a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Assam’s Lakhimpur district on Friday, an Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum district named two constables for holding up the trucks until the drivers allegedly bribed them.

“...They are restraining the essential commodities meant for people and not allowing them to enter Arunachal... and demanding bribe for letting them go...” said Likha Tejji, the ADC of Kimin in Papum Pare district, seeking the Assam government’s intervention and stringent punishment to the erring policemen.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:39:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/assam-cops-attacked-for-enforcing-covid-19-lockdown/article31193004.ece

Next Story