In a shocking incident, Bareilly administration sprayed sanitiser and disinfect on migrants workers, before allowing them to enter the district.
The incident came to light after videos of the same went viral on social media. In the videos, Bareilly administration officials can be seen clothed in protective gear spraying a chemical sanitizer solution on the migrant families including women and children. On social media, it caused widespread outrage.
The migrants are seen clutching on to their luggage and sitting quietly on the road as they are forcefully showered.
Ashok Gautam, the nodal officer in charge of Bareilly’s coronavirus response operations, confirmed to The Hindu that the migrants were indeed sprayed with a mixture of sanitiser mixed with water and chlorine and sprayed the incoming workers to eradicate all signs of the virus from their person. He further justified that getting them wet was not a problem as long as the disease was contained.
Many on social media expressed their disgust against the act as the public bathing was in complete violation of the consent and rights of the workers.
“Who are you trying to kill, Corona or humans?" a journalist wrote on Twitter while sharing the video. Another user called the act “dehumanising".
Some even pointed out the hypocrisy of the Indian state which would send special aircrafts to rescue Indians stuck overseas and even provided special testing and treatment facilities at airports to incoming citizens whereas underprivileged citizens were “sprayed like cattle".
Who r u trying to kill, Corona or humans? Migrant labourers and their families were forced to take bath in chemical solution upon their entry in Bareilly. @Uppolice@bareillytraffic @Benarasiyaa @shaileshNBT pic.twitter.com/JVGSvGqONm— Kanwardeep singh (@KanwardeepsTOI) March 30, 2020
Spraying migrant labourers with disinfectants. What are they, animals ? Did you spray this disinfectant on the passengers you airlifted from various countries ? Is this your fucking morality https://t.co/dVJHdDniu6
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) March 30, 2020
This is dehumanising— Millennial Launda #StayHome (@launda_mln) March 30, 2020
These things can happen only in India. Really criminal act by the state.
— Shrinivas Karkala (@s_karkala) March 30, 2020
This is not the way to disinfect or sanitize humans. How can the humans be treated like this. @UNHumanRights plz,these people needs humanitarian approach by the system. They are not cattles for God’s sake.If this is justified then don’t sit and discuss the human Rights anymore— Jaweriya Afreen Hussaini جویریہ آفرینಜವೇರಿಯ (@HussainiJaweria) March 30, 2020
This is not the way to disinfect or sanitize humans. How can the humans be treated like this. @UNHumanRights plz,these people needs humanitarian approach by the system. They are not cattles for God’s sake.If this is justified then don’t sit and discuss the human Rights anymore
— Jaweriya Afreen Hussaini جویریہ آفرینಜವೇರಿಯ (@HussainiJaweria) March 30, 2020
Mass migrants labours are disinfected by spraying sanitizer in Uttar Pradesh. This is inhuman. Migrants are treated like beats. Why this same method was not used when #Covid_19 infected & suspected were brought in India at every airport? Does this country belongs to rich only ? pic.twitter.com/jvXJa4u75r— Sudhir Suryawanshi (@ss_suryawanshi) March 30, 2020
Is this the right way to sanitise common man of Uttar Pradesh @myogiadityanath ji ?if it is the right and safe way to do it then why the person who is spraying is wearing full body protection?@CMOfficeUP let’s not Compare this to people getting sanitise at international airports pic.twitter.com/bnjeb3skoZ
— Rahul Mahajan (@TheRahulMahajan) March 30, 2020
In Bareilly, UP, the authorities go in for this spraying-migrants-coming-home-with-disinfectant plan ♀️ What the actual hell @alok_pandey @Saurabh_Unmute #CoronaLockdownIndia pic.twitter.com/yO03l77ruN— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) March 30, 2020
This spraying chemical disinfectant on migrant workers-as if they were objects or pests-shows everything that’s wrong with India. The elite like Kanika and the powerful who party with her and then attend Parliament are not going to be treated in this manner, are they? https://t.co/iMhgUKqL9q
— meena kandasamy || இளவேனில் மீனா கந்தசாமி (@meenakandasamy) March 30, 2020
Following outrage against the public bathing, Bareilly District Magistrate Nitish Kumar has ordered an investigation into the officers who ordered the spraying.
In the wake of rising cases of coronavirus in India, many have blamed preferential treatment meted out to influential people, many of whom tried to evade testing after returning from foreign trips and were later tested positive for coronavirus. Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor was tested positive for coronavirus for the first time on March 20 after returning from the United Kingdom and refused to follow the necessary precautions. A Bengal bureaucrat’s son also tested positive for COVID-19 after he returned from England and flouted quarantine norms.