A 37-year-old man hanged himself to death in Himachal Pradesh's Una district on Sunday, 5 April, morning after allegedly facing "social boycott" by some villagers, who suspected him to be suffering from COVID-19 despite testing negative for it.
Mohammad Dilshad committed suicide under a shed at his residence in Una’s Bangarh village, a day after health officials dropped him at his village following his negative report, an official said.
He was taken to a quarantine facility a few days ago where he tested negative for the disease.
Una Sadar SHO Darshan Singh said that Dilshad was one of the contacts of a Tablighi Jamaat member who had returned from New Delhi's Nizamuddin.
Commenting on it, DGP Sita Ram Mardi in a recorded message on social media said, “Some villagers pointed out that this man was a suspected COVID-19 patient. He was quarantined and tested negative for the infection. When he returned to his village, he was discriminated against and socially boycotted by villagers. At this, he committed suicide.”
However, the SHO told PTI that "nothing like discrimination or social boycott came to their notice during investigation".
"Members of his family did not level any such allegations. The investigating officer recorded statements of his two relatives but they did not state anything like this in their statements," he added.
His post-mortem is being conducted and police have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of CrPC in this regard, he added. The DGP has urged people to maintain social distancing (to check the spread of COVID-19), which "does not mean social discrimination".
Asking people to maintain harmony, the DGP said, "Such behaviour is not good."
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