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June 3, 2020

Returning migrants sprayed with ‘disinfectant’, DM admits ‘mistake’

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A group of migrants on their way back home was sprayed with ‘chemicals’ to sanitise them in Bareilly, prompting the district magistrate to admit the ‘mistake’ and attribute it to the ‘over-active’ civic bodies personnel.

A news report said the incident occurred in Bareilly where a group of people sitting on the road was sprayed with a liquid which the article claimed was a chemical.

After the incident, several migrants, including women and children, complained of burning sensation in their eyes.


Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday targeted the Yogi Adityanath government over the incident.

‘The spraying of chemicals on migrants to sanitise them has raised some questions. Has the World Health Organisation given any direction in this regard? How do you treat the burning sensation caused by the chemicals? What arrangements are there for people to change out of wet clothes? What alternatives are being provided for the food that gets wet due to the spraying?’ Yadav tweeted.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also tagged the news report with his tweet.

Admitting the mistake in a tweet, District Magistrate Nitish Kumar attributed it to ‘over-active’ civic bodies personnel and said actin is being taken erring officials.

‘The affected persons are being treated under the supervision of Chief Medical Officer. Teams of Bareilly municipal corporation and fire brigade were asked to sanitise the bus but due to over-activeness they did that. Orders have been issued to take action against the concerned,’ the DM said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has demanded disciplinary and penal action against officials responsible for forcefully sanitising the group of migrants with ‘chemicals’.

The apex child rights body has asked the Bareilly DM to submit a report in the matter within three days.

‘NCPCR has expressed serious view on this inhuman act. In view of the above incident, you are requested to get the matter inquired into urgently and issue necessary directions for immediate action thereby; ensuring adequate arrangements of basic essentials to the family members viz. provision of food, shelter and safety and wellbeing of these children of migrant workers during lockdown period,’ according to the letter issued by the NCPCR.

The body also demanded appropriate disciplinary and penal action against the officials who carried out the sanitising exercise.

IMAGES: A screen grab shows healthcare workers, in protective suits, spray a solution through hose pipe on migrants before allowing them to enter the town of Bareilly, on Monday. Photographs: PTI Photo

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