For the Assam Police, which has received plaudits for its active role in creating awareness about the coronavirus on social media, things have been seen getting trickier on the ground.
Today, during a distribution of essential items to the needy in Guwahati's Bhagadattapur locality, the police personnel could be seen standing idly as teeming masses formed a cluster around the vehicle that was distributing the batch. To grab these bare necessities, people from the locality in Guwahati's Beltola thronged in great numbers and crowded around the distribution area. However, our cameras caught the policemen standing idly as they struggled to control the people.
Inside Northeast uncovered that the free package consisted of the following materials: 4 onions, 4 potatoes, 250 grams of lentils, around 1 kilo of rice, sugar, salt, and cooking oil.
The man who was distributing the essentials refusing to reveal his identity to Inside Northeast, and said that he is a resident of the area and distributed essentials to around 200 people today.
While all this was going on, locals poked their head inside the vehicle and some were heard complaining that they had not received the promised package. However, some of the cops sitting inside can clearly be seen looking disinterested in the proceedings and seemed like props in the scene of the vegetable distribution.
Not once did any of them ask the gathering to disperse of at least maintain a distance of 1 metre, which was been prescribed as the health experts as a "social vaccine." Although some of the people could be seen donning masks as protection against the COVID-19, in a mad scamper for the few items, they could be seen nudging and poking each other as well.
A local lady who had come for the handouts claimed that she has received nothing from the Government. "Heard that the Government would provide; but despite waiting for many hours, but we did not receive anything. We live nearby and till now, we have not received anything. Some people had filed their names beforehand, but I only came to know recently about this. I found out about this when I had gone to a shop", she said.
This is not the first instance of the violation of norms in Assam amidst the lockdown that has been called to curb the spread of the coronavirus. There have been several instances in which the people of the State have flagrantly defied the norms in the plain view of men in uniform.
However, police in several places have been performing kind deeds as well. In the same state's Kokrajhar, the men in uniform are seeing busy in serving fresh meals at police stations and outposts to poor and needy citizens, including the daily wage earners. The police, it seems, has been taking care of the poor and downtrodden. This fresh meal service was started on Thursday at Kokrajhar police station in Kokrajhar district where many people who are facing severe hardships accumulate to sate their bellies.
However, while performing the deeds of kindness, the police must practice what they preach, i.e, to follow the coronavirus norms laid down by the health experts.
[caption id="attachment_57313" align="alignnone" width="660"] Police serving the poor in Kokrajhar[/caption]
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