Senior officials of Uttar Pradesh Police have ordered a probe after a mobile phone video that purportedly shows a team of policemen in western UP's Meerut overturning vegetable carts in a locality in the city went viral on Sunday.
The 40-second video, shot from a terrace in a congested neighbourhood in Meerut, shows a policeman, reportedly the in-charge of a police post in the area, leading a huge contingent of police in a march inside the locality. This policeman is accompanied by another cop with a rifle. Many more cops in riot gear follow them.
Many of these policemen overturn vegetable carts placed on the side of the street. The cop leading this force seems to make gestures asking his subordinates to overturn carts as they proceed.
"This is from an area close to a COVID-19 hotspot... I have asked a senior police officer in the area to carry out a formal inquiry. Many aspects to this video have emerged and I have asked that all these be taken into consideration in the probe," said senior police officer Dr Akhilesh Narayan Singh.
With 242 cases of COVID-19, Meerut is among the five most affected districts across the state. The UP government had identified over 300 hotspots across 72 districts affected by coronavirus. The government says these hotspots will continue to remain sealed and that the local administration in these areas will make arrangements for home delivery of even essential supplies like milk and vegetables.
But the mobile phone video of cops overturning vegetables carts in an area close to a hotspot has angered politicians in the area. "It has been close to two months. There is no food and there is no work and yet, everyone seems to be getting lathis. I appeal to the administration to carry out an impartial inquiry... How will food and essentials reach anyone if the police acts this way?" said Haji Rafiq Ansari, the Samajwadi Party MLA from the area where the incident took place.