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Coronavirus: Police, medical team attacked in Bihar

People sit inside marked circles to maintain social distancing, as they wait to collect ration outside a distribution centre during the nationwide lockdown, in wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Patna, Bihar. File photo

People sit inside marked circles to maintain social distancing, as they wait to collect ration outside a distribution centre during the nationwide lockdown, in wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Patna, Bihar. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

Villagers in Bihar have attacked police and medical teams who were out to enforce lockdown, which has been extended till May 3, and screening of an outsider for COVID-19 at different districts in past few days.

At Jagapakad village under Harsidhi police station in East Champaran district, at least nine officials were injured in an attack by a group of villagers on Wednesday. The officials, including local policemen, the Block Development Officer (BDO) and members of a medical team had gone there to enforce lockdown as villagers had gathered at a place over non-distribution of ration from Public Distribution System (PDS) shops.

For 15 minutes, there was a scuffle between villagers and policemen in which BDO Sunil Kumar and three policemen were injured and their vehicle was damaged.

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“When we reached the village and requested villagers to follow lockdown while maintaining safe social distancing, the villagers started complaining about non-supply of ration from four out of five PDS shops in the area….soon they turned hostile and attacked us with stones and batons,” Mr. Kumar said.

Similarly, a three-member medical team and some policemen were attacked at Akauni village under Goh police station in Aurangabad district when they had gone there for screening of a resident who had come from outside.

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Aurangabad Superintendent of Police Deepak Barnwal said that a team of health workers along with some policemen had rushed to the village for COVID-19 screening of a villager who had come from Delhi recently but “the villagers attacked them in which members of health team and policemen were injured”.

“Action will be taken against those found guilty in the attack,” he added .

Following the incident, the police reinforcement under senior officials reached the spot but they too were attacked by the villagers. The SDPO, Rajkumar Tiwari, and his bodyguard were injured in the attack.

Earlier on Tuesday too, policemen were attacked in Nalanda district. At a quarantine centre located at Nalanda Mor a police team was pelted with stones by villagers. “A mob of over 100 persons attacked a quarantine centre and policemen there,” said a police official Somnath Bharti.

On Monday, a police team was attacked under Deepnagar police station when hundreds of people blocked National Highway-31 near Biharsharief Pahadi while protesting alleged police excess during lockdown. The mob also damaged a police vehicle.

As many as 54 people were named accused in the incident at Deepnagar police station.

Patna-based clinical psychologist Binda Singh told The Hindu: “In days to come, such incidents may increase as people, especially the daily wagers and villagers, would start losing their patience during such a long period of lockdown which they have never experienced in their life… violent behaviour is a fallout of such lockdown.”

“It’s a very critical and tough time for everyone,” she said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 11:30:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-police-medical-team-attacked-in-bihar/article31353013.ece

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