Police The world has been witnessing an ongoing series of protests and riots against police brutality over the last few days. These began in Minneapolis on May 26, following the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, by Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin, after pinning the handcuffed man to the ground, knelt on his neck for over eight minutes — assisted by three other police personnel — during an arrest the day before.
Indians, including numerous Bollywood celebrities and social media influencers, have also been quite vocal about it on social media. That being said, the situation is as dire if not worse at home, as the lockdown has taught us.
1. Suresh Shah and his brother, Ramprasad were not only Police stopped from selling vegetables but also pounded with lathis by policemen. They were following their daily regime which involved picking up vegetables from a wholesale market in the morning and then selling them in carts in the evening when policemen approached their cart and started hurling abuses at them. Soon, they starting hitting them with lathis and forced them to pack up their cart and leave.
2. A Delhi cop was seen tipping over vegetable carts the day after the lockdown was
announced. The man in the video wielded a stick and was seen tipping over hand-pulled carts loaded with vegetables. However, an investigation into the matter revealed that the man in question was a police constable named Rajbir, in civilian clothes, who were harassing grocers for violating the lockdown.
3. Chennai cops harassed and beat up residents who stepped out to buy groceries and other essentials amid the lockdown. To add to that, reports suggest that doctors and other essential service workers including delivery men and ration shop employees also faced the same issue.
4. In another viral video-clip, a female doctor was seen being slapped by a police official, while she was on the way to her night duty. The policeman can be seen hitting the doctor with lathis and berating her with Police statements like: “With whom are you going to sleep at this time?”
5. Journalist Navin Kumar had tweeted about Delhi police harassing him. According to Kumar, the police, after taking away his car keys, wallet and phone, abused and beat him up.
6. Police brutality during the initial phases of the coronavirus lockdown reportedly resulted in 12 deaths. Three deaths each were reported from Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh reported two deaths while, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra reported at least one death each.
7. On April 16, 19-year-old Mohammed Rizwan who was the resident of Chhajjapur village of Uttar Pradesh succumbed to his injuries in the hospital after a brutal beating by the police. Rizwan had ventured out of his residence to purchase biscuits. He, however, was beaten up by the police with lathis and rifle butts while other residents purchased their groceries from the shop. Later, he was admitted to a hospital where he passed away.
8. In West Bengal, a day after the lockdown has implemented a man who had ventured out to buy milk was beaten up by police and later died. The incident occurred in the town of Sankrail when the man, identified as Lal Swami, went out to buy milk in the evening. His wife alleged that Lal Swami was among the crowd that the police lathi-charged. He was then rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
9. A 28-year-old man allegedly lost his life after being beaten up by police personnel in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Reportedly, Mohammed Ghouse was returning home after purchasing medicines around 9 in the morning when the cops stopped him. They allegedly beat him up for venturing out without any reason. However, Ghouse, being a heart patient collapsed after which he was shifted to a hospital where he was declared dead.
10. A 36-year-old resident of Charkop who ventured out Police to get medicines with his wife in his car was beaten up by three cops in Kandivli (West) in Mumbai. The incident reportedly took place around 6 in the evening when the couple was returning to their residence after buying medicines. After asking the man to get out of the car, the police officer started thrashing him with a lathi. Two others also joined him.
11. Madhya Pradesh Police allegedly beat an Adivasi man to death for breaking lockdown in April. According to reports, the incident took place in Gujari village when Tibu Meda had gone out to procure essential items. Sanjay, his son-in-law, was with him when the police started beating up Meda. He tried to run away but was chased and beaten to death by the police.
12. Bhairon Lal Lohar was brutally thrashed by Gujarat Police for stepping out to attend his mother’s funeral. Bhairon who was brutally thrashed by the police had already procured permission from the local police to leave the city after showing the printout of the death certificate. He also showed the dead body of his mother through a video call. However, that only agitated them further. They threw away his mobile phone and tore the death certificate. Furthermore, they also thrashed his brother and the driver of the ambulance.
13. Even migrant workers walking thousands of kilometers home weren’t spared as police used violence on them in many states. In one such instance, over 500 laborers were provided shelter in Vijayawada Club but when they reached Kanakadurgamma Varadhi, police warned them to go back. When the workers tried to continue their journey, the police wielded lathis.
The list is endless. There were a plethora of similar incidents recorded on camera, each worse than the last. Plenty of them is still doing rounds on Twitter. Perhaps, now that the whole country takes a united stand against police brutality in the United States, we could also take some time to reflect upon ourselves.