Even as the total number of the people testing positive for COVID-19 rose to 121 in Uttar Pradesh (UP) on Thursday , in the first such case all over the country, a Dalit youth committed suicide on Wednesday after he was allegedly beaten up by the UP police for breaking quarantine rules.
A resident of Fariya Pipariya village which falls in Lakhimpur district, the Dalit youth, Roshan Lal worked as a daily wage worker in Gurugam.
He had returned to his village on Sunday, March 29, six days after the Modi government announced a nationwide lockdown. Since then, he was living in the school of the village after the local administration had put him in quarantine.
In a recorded audio clip, which Roshan Lal forwarded to his friend and family members on WhatsApp minutes before he committed suicide, he can be heard screaming and narrating the story of torture and humiliation in a very feeble voice.
“Friends, if someone does not believe then take off my pants and see. You will not find anything but blood-clotting all over my back. I am going to commit suicide after this as I do not want to live anymore. My hand has been broken. What will I do now in my life?” says the Dalit youth in the recorded clip.
“I want to tell you, if after my death someone says that I was tested COVID-19 positive, that is wrong. I tested negative and I have the result also. I want to end my life. But I want that action must be taken against Anoop Kumar Singh. Anoop Kumar has done grave injustice. I am feeling very helpless…,” adds Roshan Lal. Anoop Kumar is a constable who allegedly thrashed the youth.
Roshan Lal recorded three audio messages minutes before he embraced death, claimed his family.
In another audio-clip he can be heard saying, “Despite this, nobody came forward to help me that is why I am taking this extreme step.”
Expressing his last wish Roshan Lal said, “I have a saving of Rs 80,000 in PNB bank, which should be given to my mother. There is another saving of Rs 20,000 in Allahabad Bank, which too should be given to my mother.”
Referring to the contractor under which Roshan Lal worked in Gurgaon, he said in the recorded message that “the contractor owes me Rs 25,000 , which also should be given to my mother”.
Saying that “strictest action must be taken against Anoop Kumar Singh”, Roshan Lal says, “He has beaten me mercilessly…you will not find anything but blood clotting all over my back. I am committing suicide because of this only.”
In another 1.41-second audio clip, Roshan Lal can be heard introducing himself, before he took the extreme step.
“Hello Namaskar friends, my name is Roshan Lal. I am very upset today. My only fault is that I stepped out (of the school where he was put in quarantine) to get flour because we did not have anything at my home to eat. A policeman named Anoop Singh has thrashed me so badly that my right hand has stopped working. Perhaps, it is broken now. Don’t ask how helpless I am feeling right now.”
After Roshan Lal committed suicide, his family members tried to lodge an FIR against constable Anoop Kumar, but the UP police refused to do so. Roshan Lal’s family has demanded action against constable Anoop Singh.
This is the fourth case of suicide due to the panic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing lockdown.
A young man had committed suicide on Tuesday in Kanpur by hanging himself because he feared that he was suffering from Covid-19.
In two separate incidents, two youths had committed suicide in Hapur and Bareilly over the weekend because they believed that they were suffering from the deadly virus.
Talking to NH over the phone, head of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC), Ajay Singh Lallu said that this incident has unmasked brutal, inhuman face of the UP police. Demanding a high-level inquiry into the matter, Lallu said, “There is a complete breakdown of law and order in Uttar Pradesh. The state is not being run as per the law or the Constitution but the police's baton. In the name of curbing COVID-19 spread, the UP police is harassing poor and daily wage workers. Those policemen who were involved in this incident must be booked under the section of 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”