Ballia (Uttar Pradesh):
A senior government official in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district was suspended today after videos emerged of him and a team of home guards beating up people randomly during a mask checking drive.
In the one-minute clip, Sub Divisional Magistrate Ashok Chaudhary and his team were seen forcing two mask-clad men out of a shop and thrashing them with sticks. The clip also showed the men trying to shield themselves from the beating and asking the home guards, “What is this, sir?…What is this misbehaviour?”
In the footage, one of the two men, who were assaulted by the home guards – an auxiliary to the police who help in maintaining internal security – was seen bleeding.
“Sub Divisional Magistrate, Ballia, Ashok Chaudhray, has been suspended from his post with immediate effect,” said a government order.
More clips showed the same government team assaulting people at a government complex, including a elderly person who wasn’t wearing his mark properly.
Social media feeds were filled with similar examples of arbitrary use of power by police personnel on the people during the Coronavirus-induced restrictions.
Uttar Pradesh registered a record 95 deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the total fatalities in the state to 2,733. With 4,991 fresh COVID-19 cases, the state’s tally climbed to 1,72,334, a government release this evening said.
The state presently has 48,511 COVID-19 cases while the number of those recovering and getting discharged from hospitals reached 1,21,090, it said.