Lockdown fatigue behind incidents of public-cop clashes in UP?

Lockdown is breeding frustration among people and police alike with number of conflicts between cops and public on the rise, which, the experts say, can lead to a bigger conflict if not stopped now

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

NH Correspondent/Lucknow

The now month-long lockdown is slowly breeding frustration among people and police alike with the number of conflicts between cops and public on the rise, which, the experts say, can lead to a bigger conflict if not stopped now.

A series of incidents reported in the last 24 hours in Uttar Pradesh indicate that the lockdown is leading of frayed tempers. In Aligarh, morning shoppers pelted stones at police when asked to go home, while in Bahraich two cops were sent to the lines for stopping farmers from going to fields. In other incidents, a cop was injured when he tried to calm down two warring parties in Saharanpur and two girls created drama in full public view when police stopped their car in Lucknow.

In Ayodhya, police and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) jawans clashed after two PAC personnel were stopped from going to local market to purchase medicines. PAC jawan gheraoed the police chowki and the issue was resolved only following intervention from senior officials.

In Aligarh, two policemen were injured when some people hurled stones at them when went to the Bhujipura to close down the vegetable market. The trouble makers could only be chased away after additional force was sent to the area.

In Saharanpur, Dharmendra and Suresh Pal of Mirazpur village of Deoband entered into a scuffle over some trivial issue. They were joined by their supporters and soon a free for all ensued that left five persons injured. A cop who tried to defuse the situation was attacked and left injured. Two country-made pistols were later recovered from the spot.

In Lucknow, a policeman was injured after being attacked by some residents of Sadar area when he tried to stop them from going into a sealed area across a rail track on Wednesday morning. Similarly, at Lohia Path, in state capital, female occupants of a car heckled cops and created a scene after they were stopped for checking. The vehicle was later challaned.

In Bahraich, two constables, Arun Singh and Abhiveer Singh of Baundi police station, were sent to the lines for assaulting farmers at Kandausapurwa area. The cops had gone there after being tipped-off that some locals were gambling there. While chasing the miscreants, they cane-charged some farmers who were headed to their fields. As villagers protested, senior officers sent both constables to Police Lines.

Dr S.K Pandey, Medical Officer of Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow said that lockdown fatigue is setting in as people are becoming more restive because of the restrictions imposed on them.

“The monotony of the routine is making people tired. There is no change for them. This is making them angry at any small pretext,” Dr Pandey said. He said there is also a fear that the lockdown may get extended as the number of COVID-19 cases are going up.

“On the other hand police are doing extra work. They are telling people to stay home time and again.  This routine also irritates them and this results in clashes,” he said.

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