Coronavirus: Pb CM asks police to find more compassionate ways of dealing with curfew violators

Chandigarh, Mar 26 (PTI) Taking cognisance of reports that people violating the curfew were being thrashed in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed police to be more humane and sensitive, and asked them to find more compassionate ways of dealing with violaters.

Use of corporal means to punish violators cannot be allowed, said Singh, directing the state police chief Dinkar Gupta to take all possible steps to sensitise police personnel and warn them against taking the law into their hands while dealing with such cases, stated a government release.

The statement came after several disturbing videos appeared on social media showing cops brutally thrashing people with sticks at several places for defying curfew.

In some videos they purportedly forced youths to do sit-ups and crawl on the road for violating the restrictions which had been imposed in the state to check coronavirus outbreak.

Urging the police personnel to exercise maximum restraint in the difficult situation, the chief minister asked them to find more compassionate ways of handling curfew violations, especially in cases of individuals found moving out for essentials, the release stated.

Singh also appealed to the people to stay at home and reach out to the police and civil administration through helpline numbers in case of emergency.

All efforts were being made to provide doorstep delivery of essential goods and services, he said, adding that the entire police and civil administration was working day and night to ensure that the citizens do not face any inconvenience or hardship.

The chief minister also took note of reports of a recorded telephonic message purportedly released by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu of the US-based pro-Khalistan group the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and said any attempt by him or anyone else to provoke the youth of Punjab to violate the curfew would not be tolerated.

'It was obvious that Pannu does not care about the lives of Punjabis,' he said, reacting to Pannu's message in which he had also reportedly warned the chief minister and Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta of serious consequences if any action was taken against violators of the curfew.

Meanwhile, the DGP said that by and large the police personnel were caring and gentle, there had been a few cases of some of them using force against those found violating the restrictions.

Gupta said he had directed the police officers concerned to make it clear to the force that there is zero tolerance to physical beatings etc.

'No society can tolerate such visuals,' warned the DGP, adding that violators should be booked.

Calling for patience, he said, 'We don't want to sully all the good work we are doing by a few aberrations here and there.' The DGP's warning came even as the police on Thursday registered 170 FIRs and arrested 262 for curfew and home quarantine violations.

Out of total 170 FIRs, four were registered for violation of home quarantine guidelines, with three FIRs registered in Sangrur and one in Bathinda. PTI CHS VSD AAR