Police brutality trumps coronavirus? Man out to buy milk allegedly beaten to death by West Bengal cop

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 03:42 PM IST
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Police personnel punish the offenders of the lockdown in Assam's Nagaon on Thursday. | Representational image | Photo: ANI

On Wednesday, India went under a state of lockdown. Barring essential services, no offices or stores or organisations will remain open in any part of the country for the next three weeks, and people have been asked to remain within the confines of their homes unless absolutely necessary.

In such a situation the police have been actively monitoring the situation, ready to disperse any crowds that gather unnecessarily, or don't follow proper social distancing protocols.

On Wednesday however, things took a dark turn, after a man in West Bengal was allegedly beaten to death for violating curfew. The 32-year-old man, identified as Lal Swami had, according to reports which quoted his wife, stepped out to buy milk.

The incident took place in Sankrail, and according to an ABP report, family members alleged that he was injured during a police lathicharge and soon succumbed to his injuries. He was taken to SC Mullick Hospital where he was declared deceased.

The police however deny the charge. According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) of Howrah Police, Raju Mukherjee the man had already been suffering from cardiac ailments.

According to reports, the police allege that the man had died due to a cardiac arrest and not during a lathicharge.

Netizens were outraged at the news, with many taking to social media platforms to criticise the police response.

"This brutality is killing Indians more than the virus," wrote journalist Rana Ayyub on Twitter.

"Where are we going as a nation?" wondered a Twitter user.

"Who will be held accountable? Why would you hit people to the extent that they die? Why take your frustration on the common man? The policemen who killed him need to arrested and prosecuted. We won't tolerate policy brutality. You have taken oath to serve us not to kill us," wrote another.

Take a look at some of the reactions:

West Bengal has so far recorded 10 positive cases of the novel coronavirus. Of these, one person who had tested positive has passed away. Across India, the number of cases as of Thursday afternoon had crossed 680 and 13 people who had tested positive have passed away.

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