A 32-year-old man died Wednesday after being beaten up by the police for stepping out of his residence to buy milk in West Bengal, yet another example of how police across the country are using extreme force to punish people who break the lockdown rules.
According to India Today, his family says the man died of the injuries sustained during the police’s assault on him.
Bengali news portals identified the deceased as Lal Swami, a resident of Howrah. He had reportedly left his residence to buy milk when he was lathi-charged by policemen who were “clearing a gathering on the streets”.
He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
Many police and state officials across the country including Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Kerala were left scrambling to come up with many, most of the time violent ways, of enforcing a lockdown in a vast nation of 1.3 billion people.
Section 188 of the IPC which allows police to take action against those violating curfew, does not sanction violence against people trying to purchase essential goods, rights activists and legal experts criticized police actions.
Meanwhile, justice Devan Ramachandran of the Kerala high court said on Thursday that the Kerala Police should not beat up citizens who violate lockdown and should maintain social distancing while on the streets.
Doctors, who are permitted to travel during the lockdown, also have been at the receiving end of police violence.
A female postgraduate doctor was slapped by police personnel in Telangana on Wednesday while she was attending night duty, she was abused saying “with whom are you going to sleep at this time?”