Migrants sprayed with disinfectant on return to UP

02:51 PM Mar 30, 2020 | Team Udayavani |
Bareilly: A video of officials , dressed in protective gear, spraying a group of migrant labourers, including children with disinfectant in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh emerged on social media on Monday, March 30. In the video a group of men, women and children are seem sitting in a ducked position on the streets and an official is heard asking them to close their eyes before spraying them with the disinfectant. Cries of the migrants too can be heard in the video as the spray tends to cause a burning sensation in the eyes. The batch of migrants were among those returning to Uttar Pradesh in buses that had been specially arranged for them. The district administration came in for severe criticism as the video went viral. An official however justified the act saying that it was necessary to sanitise everyone. The mixture used for sanitising them was a a mix of chlorine and water.. No chemical solution was used, he added. Hitting out at the district administration, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: "I appeal to the government in UP... all of us are fighting together against this crisis (coronavirus). Please don't indulge into such inhuman actions. The labourers have already suffered a lot. Don't spray chemicals on them. This won't protect them... rather it would harm their health." Social media has been flooded with heartbreaking images of migrant labourers, walking miles to reach their hometown amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week to fight coronavirus or COVID-19, which has infected over 1,000 in the country, killed at least 29. Over the weekend, the state governments in UP and Delhi arranged special buses for these people to facilitate their journey to hometowns. However, a 14-day quarantine in state-run camps is mandatory for the labourers returning to UP and Bihar. On Sunday, the centre asked states to seal borders and prevent migrant exodus amid repeated appeals by PM Modi to ensure social distancing.

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