According to a report, at least 12 people lost their lives across India after being allegedly beaten up by police personnel in a bid to enforce the nationwide lockdown.
The study, conducted by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), tracked such deaths reported by media from March 25 to April 30. The study states that among the 12 victims, three died by committing suicide due to public humiliation they faced after being thrashed in public, News18 reported.
While three deaths each were reported from Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, two died in Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Punjab reported one death each.
In addition to these 12 deaths, three people, held on various charges, lost their lives in police custody during the lockdown. They were from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The CHRI has sent a plea to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to initiate a thorough probe in all these 15 deaths.
CHRI’s programme head (police reforms), Devika Prasad, said, “Reports in media have shown that at 12 people have died because of alleged police action during the lockdown. An independent inquiry must be conducted into these deaths. This a sign that authorities need to hold police accountable for using excessive force.”
Prasad further said CHRI believes that the NHRC will investigate these serious allegations in a “fair and effective way.”
In two cases, reported in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, police personnel involved were suspended from duty and a magisterial inquiry was also ordered.
The study also states that many authorities have denied police beating. Howrah police commissioner reportedly told media that the West Bengal case was misreported. Uttar Pradesh police, too, also refuted the claims that the death of one Mohammad Rizwan was due to police action.Follow Moneycontrol's full coverage on the coronavirus pandemic here