Days after heart-wrenching images of migrant labourers leaving Delhi went viral on social media, a video from Bareilly district in Uttar Pradesh has been drawing ire. A group of migrant workers, who had returned from their respective places of work following the lockdown instituted on 24 March amid the coronavirus outbreak, were made to sit by the side of the road at Satellite Bus Stand. Footage show them huddled together while a man wearing a body suit sprays a liquid from a canister.
Bareilly’s first COVID-19 patient had been identified a day prior, following which the district’s traffic police and fire brigade began sanitising public places with sodium hypochloride.
The group of migrant workers alighted from a bus and were asked to sit down so that they could be sanitised as well. Some allegedly complained of a burning sensation in their eyes after the spraying incident.
The district magistrate of Bareilly has assured that action will be taken against those who sprayed the disinfectant on these labourers.
इस वीडियो की पड़ताल की गई, प्रभावित लोगों का सीएमओ के निर्देशन में उपचार किया जा रहा है। बरेली नगर निगम एवं फायर ब्रिगेड की टीम को बसों को सैनेटाइज़ करने के निर्देश थे, पर अति सक्रियता के चलते उन्होंने ऐसा कर दिया। सम्बंधित के विरुद्ध कार्रवाई के निर्देश दिए गए हैं। https://t.co/y8TmuCNyu5— District Magistrate (@dmbareilly) March 30, 2020
Several people took to Twitter to express shock and anger at the video, which was labelled as a 'discrimination' of sorts against poor and hapless labourers:
Did they spray returning VIPs, NRIs or Corporate executives at airports like this? How is it ok then to do this to migrant labour?— Rakesh Sharma (@rakeshfilm) March 30, 2020
Remember, coronavirus was brought to India not by its poor, but the international travellers! It spread because they didn’t self-isolate/quarantine. https://t.co/fWPdvzWCcf
Migrant labourers being sprayed with chemicals in Bareilly.— Cow Momma (@Cow__Momma) March 30, 2020
That is how India treats its most vulnerable during #CoronavirusOutbreak
DON’T TELL ME TO STOP QUESTIONING THE GOVT. anymore!
Not after this.
The poor people are even told to keep their children’s eyes closed, because being sprayed with disinfectant can REALLY irritate your eyes. So dehumanising ♀️ #coronavirus #lockdown #UP #Bareilly pic.twitter.com/Up7ebXEhhL— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) March 30, 2020
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