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SHRC raises rights violations by cops on COVID duty

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has written to State Chief Secretary regarding the alleged human rights violations, including like police officials vandalising vehicles of people who ventured out during the lockdown, and sought a report within 10 days.

SHRC raises rights violations by cops on COVID duty
File Photo


The Commission also asked the government to test more underprivileged people and transpersons, who are unaware of the crisis brought about by COVID-19 pandemic.

While acknowledging the gravity of the circumstances, acting chairperson D Jayachandran and member A Chittaranjan Mohandoss stated in their letter that the Commission had some concerns about possible human rights violations that had to be addressed urgently. “The right to life and safety of the citizens are under great threat and also important to prevent the spread of the pandemic,” they said.

Noting that hygiene was not possible without sufficient water supply, the Commission also recommended an increase in the quantum of water being supplied in densely populated areas and where COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded.

In the letter, the Commission also asked the government to distribute soaps through fair price shops.

“Our health workers and police are constantly exposed to the virus. Facilities for them to bathe and change clothes shall be provided before they go to their residences to ensure their family members safety,” the letter added.

The Commission also asked the government to provide medical attention to prison inmates and isolate prisoners who show symptoms. “To ensure lockdown and social isolation, police personnel are vandalising vehicles of people who are venturing out. It should be reiterated that restrain showed by most police personnel should continue and those who resort to violence are properly reprimanded,” the Commission said.

Further, taking suo motu cognizance over a Daily Thanthi report that police personnel on patrol duty vandalised the two-wheelers and lectured the people about the virus, SHRC has asked for a detailed report from DGP and Superintendent of Police, Dharmapuri, within two weeks. The incident was reported at Nethaji Bypass Road in Dharmapuri Municipality area.

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