With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, and a ban on firecrackers imposed in many states, Diwali this year is a slightly subdued affair. While many have urged the courts and officials to reconsider, many states have imposed a complete or partial ban on the use of firecrackers, and leaving traders staring at massive losses.
In Uttar Pradesh, the state government has imposed a ban on sale and bursting of firecrackers in Lucknow and 12 other cities where the air quality index was either poor, very poor or severe last Diwali. Coming as it has, mere days ahead of the occasion, the ban has left many traders feeling the heat, even as others defy the restrictions to continue selling their wares.
For one vendor in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district, the defiance let to a rather horrifying turn of events, as police officials allegedly threw his wares onto the ground and then dragged him away, even as his daughter screamed for them to stop.
Acting on a tip, the police had gone to the Khurja area and detained the man in question. The now viral video shows several officials herding the man into a waiting vehicle, as his daughter begs them to release her father, even banging her head against the side of the car.
As the clip sparked massive backlash, the Bulandshahr Police took to Twitter assuring that they had made amends for the situation. While many acknowledged the man's violation, others on social media had taken the officers to task for purportedly manhandling the vendor. Not only that, their apathy towards the child too had raised hackles.
Soon after this, the Bulandshahr stated that the official concerned had been taken to task. The Superintendent of Police said that the incident had taken place on Friday evening. He noted that there had been a distinct lack of sensitivity while dealing with the children of the vendors, vowing to be more careful in the future.
The vendor shown in the viral video was also released from custody, and as per updates posted by the Bulandshahr Police, the family also received gifts from senior cops.
Videos shared by officials show senior cops at their home, taking part in the festivities and looking on as the family exchanges sweets.