In a shameful and brute show of power towards the poor, a woman who was trying to make ends meet by selling vegetables was thrashed by the Mumbai police in the Mankhurd area of the city on Friday. A video shared by news agency ANI, police personnel can be seen vandalizing the vegetable stall of the female hawker, who then indulged in a scuffle with a policewoman.
The incident took place on Friday when a woman was trying to sell vegetables in the area which was declared as a containment zone in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The police asked the woman to stop selling her vegetables and clear the area. However, the woman protested but the police then forcefully overturned her stall and thrashed her.
The strong protest by the hawker lady in her 50s was met with the brute police force and a woman police officer thrashed her. Some locals tried to intervene but were pushed away by other police personnel. In the video, two male policemen are also seen charging at the hawker while she indulged in a fistfight with the lady constable.
Watch the video below:
#WATCH Mumbai: A scuffle broke out between a hawker and police personnel yesterday after she was not allowed to sell vegetables in a containment area in Mankhurd. A case has been registered in the matter by police. (Source - Amateur video) #Maharashtra #CoronaLockdown pic.twitter.com/NGhaUypxIx— ANI (@ANI) April 18, 2020
Mumbai Police's act condemed
Several people criticised the Mumbai Police for the "brutality" against the female hawker and demanded action against police personnel involved in the incident. "...while a certain business family left town with their house help ...facilitated by the same in power, poor are being harassed for simply stepping out to earn a living," wrote a Rolee Kachru on Twitter.
Some termed the police action a "criminal act" and asked why the policemen threw vegetables on road. "Why ruin the farm produce, they could have impounded and distributed veggies to poor! Farmers are ruined in Maharashtra as produce is lost due to wastage and in city we are eating once a day as lesser and lesser supplies are available. This is criminal act," said another user Maya Rane.
They could've detained her even without throwing away the vegetables like this. This is inhumane @MumbaiPolice. Such one incident is enough to malign your image despite hundreds of PR tweets by bollywood. I hope @CPMumbaiPolice compensates to this woman.— THE SKIN DOCTOR (@theskindoctor13) April 18, 2020
Meanwhile, instead of taking action against the police officers involved, the Mumbai Police have registered a case against the woman. The lockdown, due to coronavirus pandemic, has left hawkers and daily wage labourers without job, shelter, food and money. Maharashtra is the worst-hit Indian state and has the highest number of coronavirus positive cases.