Story By: Alex Cope, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment an Indian policeman sprays disinfectant onto batons as they prepare to head out to enforce the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
Police officer Pankaj Nain from the northern Indian state of Haryana reportedly shared the video of the unnamed officer spraying the sticks on social media but it has since been removed.
In the clip, an officer can be seen spraying three wooden sticks, known as ‘lathis’ with disinfectant.
The words ‘full tyari’ (full preparation) can be seen across the screen and the clip was shared with the caption: “Preparation in full swing. #Coronafighters”
Local media report the sticks are believed to being used to disperse crowds and enforce social distancing after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Some netizens were quick to criticise the officer for seemingly condoning police brutality, with ‘SaketGokhale’ writing: “Why did you delete this tweet @ipspankajnain ji along with 5 others where you were encouraging police brutality after I filed my RTI (Right to Information Act). I have screenshots & have the tweets archived. Request u to put out a tweet saying you do NOT condone police brutality.(sic)”
However, others supported the officer with ‘Amit Rajan’ writing: “This is only solution! Way to go sir. Be safe but be very very tough. (sic)”
Whilst another wrote: “All those planning to roam on the streets, this is for you.”
India’s lockdown of 1.3 billion is the largest seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has suffered 673 confirmed cases of the virus and 13 deaths, according to the latest information from the Johns Hopkins University.
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