Assam Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia has alleged that innocent people are being harassed by police in the state during the nationwide lockdown declared to contain coronavirus.
Saikia has written to the Chairman of the Assam Police Accountability Commission regarding certain alleged incidents of police assaulting innocent people during the ongoing lockdown.
In his letter, Saikia cited video footage and newspaper reports regarding police personnel allegedly assaulting some women at Morongi and other areas in Golaghat district during the lockdown on March 30.
“The victims were foraging for firewood, colocasia leaves and fiddlehead fern in the bush when some policemen called them to the nearby road and caned them mercilessly. This apart, the media has reported that a few women were severely assaulted inside their homes by police and CRPF personnel in Falimari village under Chapar Police Station of Dhubri district.
“Some of the victims have had to be hospitalised as a result. This latter incident reportedly occurred during search operations to locate the culprits involved in assaulting a group of policemen on March 27. While the culprits in question deserve to be nabbed and dealt with as per the laws of the land, no sensible person can countenance such brutal punishment of women who were not directly involved in the incident,” he stated.
Saikia added that there is also video footage available of two police personnel assaulting an on-duty doctor inside a hospital at Borkhola in Cachar district on March 28 “evidently at the behest of” a BJP legislator.
“These two PSOs had no business to hit an unarmed physician who is braving the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to serve humanity. It is extremely unfortunate that despite periodic training, some police personnel have still not got sensitised to acceptable operating procedure,” said the leader of opposition.
He said the video of the incident in Golaghat district reveals that no policewomen were present at the site and that the victims were assaulted not by some lowly policeman but by an officer.
“This type of shameful incident is a slur on the Assam Police, considering that ours is a civilised, democratic country,” stated Saikia.
He has requested the Chairman of the Assam Police Accountability Commission to recommend disciplinary proceedings against the “errant policemen” and further instruct the DGP Assam to issue strict orders to prevent recurrence of such barbaric incidents at the hands of police personnel.