New Delhi: Two days after Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Santosh Gangwar, told the Lok Sabha that no data was available with the government on migrant deaths during the lockdown, the Centre on Wednesday said it has no data on deaths or injuries caused to people in enforcing the countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Union Minister of State for Home, G. Kishan Reddy’s written reply in Rajya Sabha came in response to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s question in this regard.
“Data pertaining to complaints and cases registered, First Information Report (FIR) regarding harassment, injury, death of individuals in enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown across the country is not maintained centrally,” Reddy said.
The minister also said police and public order are state subjects as per 7th schedule of the Constitution of India.
Hence, the actions are taken by the respective state governments, he said.
Kharge had asked whether there has been any instance of excessive police measures leading to harassment, injury, death of individuals in enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown across the country.
In an article published in late March on The Wire, N.C. Asthana had noted that there had been several reports of police highhandedness – beating with lathis and resorting to public humiliation to enforce the lockdown – not only against common people but also those associated with essential services.
Incidents of such misbehaviour had been reported from across the country, in the first few days after the implementation of the lockdown itself, indicating that they reflect a problem with the fundamental character of the police in India and are neither isolated nor region-specific.