The Madhya Pradesh police on Thursday brutally lathicharged protesting Covid health workers in capital Bhopal and did not even spare a pregnant Covid warrior.
Over 500 health workers have been protesting for the past three days at Bhopal’s Neelam Park. They have been demanding the regularisation of their jobs.
According to health workers, 6,213 such health workers were appointed by the Madhya Pradesh government in April 2020 on a contract basis for three months. After this, their contract was renewed for a total of nine months as the Covid crisis in the state escalated and now their services are going to end on December 31.
Seeing their services ending, the health workers were sitting on a dharna demanding the regularization of jobs from the state government.
On Thursday, the police reached the spot and asked the protestors to vacate the area. As the health workers refused to budge, the police carried out lathicharge to clear them out.
During the police action, around 15 health workers sustained injuries while 47 were detained, of which 15 were later arrested.
Female covid warrior was brutally attacked by MP(Bhopal) Police. @ChouhanShivraj please do something as she was firstly COVID WARRIOR and secondly FEMALE COVID WARRIOR.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY ON THOSE, WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE ACT. https://t.co/hpu92yKi3U pic.twitter.com/ePeASGEWvK
— Dr Amarinder Singh Malhi AP/DM/SR AIIMS, New Delhi (@drasmalhi) December 3, 2020
Viral videos from the spot show police entering the crowd and raining blows on the protestors including women health workers.
Lathicharge on protesting Corona warriors in Bhopal. pic.twitter.com/INfqpBVJmy
— SAM (@sam9456) December 3, 2020
Photo: India Today
Speaking on the incident, Bhopal ASP Rajat Saklecha said that the protestors were sitting in Neelam Park without permission.
“They were protesting for the past four days and had met the state health minister and MP. Their demands were forwarded to the CM. Still, they were protesting without permission. They were asked to vacate the venue after this, some of them tried to attack police and a cop was injured. Minimum force used for arrest,” he said.
They were protesting for last 4 days & had met Health Minister & MP. Their demands were forwarded to CM. Still they were protesting without permission. They were asked for arrest, some of them tried to attack Police & a cop was injured. Minimum force used for arrest: Bhopal ASP https://t.co/if0T4SpCEY pic.twitter.com/PwUwP9OROC
— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2020
Meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath condemned the police action and said that the incident was a blot on humanity.
— Office Of Kamal Nath (@OfficeOfKNath) December 3, 2020
“Where on one hand, the world over Covid warriors are being honoured and encouraged, the Shivraj government of Madhya Pradesh is brutally hitting them with lathis. This incident is highly condemnable,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The corona warriors, who have been risking their lives during this raging pandemic, were protesting over legitimate demands in Bhopal. Then, instead of ensuring justice for them, they were lathicharged. Those who are entitled to respect are being treated like criminals?” Kamal Nath added.