ODIA MIGRANT WORKER LOSES HIS LIFE, During the current catastrophe, when the death grip of an undefeated disease clutches us all, we need to thrive on positivity and kindness. But incidents like the one that took place in Surat recently, takes a heavy toll on humanity. On being brutally beaten up and killed by police, Satya Swain’s story became yet another example of brutality and ill-treatment against workers and laborers. Satya Swain, a fellow migrant worker, originally from the Ganjam district of Odisha had been working in Surat for the past two years. A few days back, along with several other workers, Swain had visited the police station for registration regarding his return home.
Due to the sudden lockdown, he was stuck in Surat for the last few weeks and partial resumption of rail services provided an opportunity for the migrant workers to return to their homes. On being reproached, the workers returned to their quarters where they were seen loitering outside when a police van pulled up. The policemen lathi-charged and viciously beat up these poor workers and forced charges of breaking social distancing norms during the lockdown on them. After barbarically beating up unarmed and deprived workers they were hauled up to Amroli police station with charges of breaking social distancing rules. There, in the police station itself, Swain succumbed to his injuries and collapsed. He presumably died before an ambulance could get him help. This horrific incident evoked pity all across the country. What makes it worse is, the young resident of Kullada village near Bhanjanagar had a wife and a 5-year-old specially-abled child back home.
In a country where serious crimes escape justice, a husband, father, and bread earner lost his life for merely desiring a return home, on being charged with breaking lockdown rules. Inhumane atrocities against the oppressed are not a revelation and it is shameful and concerning how the “protectors of law” are breaking the basic laws of humanity. The workers have been most affected by the sudden national lockdown which resulted in losing daily wages and getting stuck in cities with no necessary amenities or a way back home. While citizens of the country were already outrageous and speaking up against ill-treatment and suffering of the struggling strata of our society in the last few days, this despicable incident of Thursday has added fuel to the fire.