New Delhi: The BJP’s Ghaziabad MLA has asked the police to shoot violators of the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
According to a report in the Deccan Herald, Nand Kishor Gurjar has also announced a cash reward of Rs 5,100 to every cop who shoots the violators.
Calling the violators “traitors”, Gurjar said that “cops should break their legs….if they do not follow the orders then the police should shoot them in their legs’.’
Gurjar said that the police must deal strictly with Muslims gathering in mosques to offer prayers and “shoot them if necessary”. ”It has come to my knowledge that the Muslims gather at the mosques…the police must deal with them strictly and shoot them if necessary,” he said.
The MLA did not mention the Ram Navami event that is being held in Ayodhya, which UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath attended the day after PM Modi announced the nationwide lockdown.
Gurjar also said that he would give an award of Rs 5,100 to each of the cops who shot violators and that he would also write to the government recommending them for promotion.
Ironically, Gurjar had, in December 2019, staged a protest in the UP assembly against his own BJP government alleging harassment and heavy-handedness by the police administration of Ghaziabad.
A few weeks ago, Gurjar had claimed that the coronavirus would not be able to enter ‘gaushalas’ or cow shelters and the land where ‘Ram Raj’ prevailed.
”Coronavirus does not have the courage to enter this place…there are cow shelters here….the virus cannot go near the cows. Moreover, in UP we have Ram Raj and the virus will never come here,” Gurjar had said.
The MLAs comments also come at a time when civil society activists have expressed concern about instances of police violence against people who have left their homes, even to buy essential goods. Reports on Thursday said that a man in West Bengal, who had left him home to buy milk, died hours after he was thrashed by police for violating the lockdown.
Many instances of police harassing or assaulting journalists and doctors, who are allowed to continue working as part of the exceptions provided to essential services, have also surfaced in the past week or so.
While Section 188 of the IPC allows the police to take legal action against violators of the curfew, it does not allow them to assault or hand out arbitrary ‘punishment’ such as making them do sit ups.