The national lockdown and absence of any transport has forced thousands of migrant workers to leave big cities and walk to their native villages and towns.
A video doing rounds on social media shows some of these migrant workers and their families made to squat on roads and sprayed with disinfectant upon their entry in Bareilly, UP.
In the video, we can hear the authorities asking them to turn so that their entire bodies can be disinfected.
Piche ghum jao, aankhein bandh kar lo. Iska poora asar muh pe hota hai.
According to reports, this batch of migrants had returned to UP from Delhi, Haryana and Noida over the weekend by special buses that were arranged for them amid lockdown.
Netizens slammed the UP government for this step and questioned the authorities.
Spraying migrant labourers with disinfectants. What are they, animals ? Did you spray this disinfectant on the passengers you airlifted from various countries ? Is this your fucking morality https://t.co/dVJHdDniu6— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) March 30, 2020
Chemical wash of humans. Plain torture. Never heard of such before or seen.— manav (@manavjivan) March 30, 2020
India under Mochi, from bad to worse.
Human rights violated.
Shameless face of social hypocrisy, yesterday flight with 180 from Malaysia landed in India, did airport authority implied similar disinfectant procedure on them ?— Pramood (@pramod7260) March 30, 2020
Poor are just treated as liability no body wants to own, neither state nor central, their price tag is just vote.
Spraying chemical solutions at humans.. Seriously have v gone to that level. There r many ways to see if they have covid or not, just bcoz spraying chemical solutions, what if some one gets skin allergy r something. Seriously worst step ever.. #humansnotmachines— Divya Sridhar (@Divya22888) March 30, 2020
Right there a human tragedy unfolding. https://t.co/sMJcbfN4Qf— Sardar Nasir Ali khan (@RJNASIROFFICIAL) March 30, 2020
After facing criticism on social media, a district administration official told NDTV that they sprayed just a mixture of chlorine and water and did not use any chemical solution.
We asked them to keep their eyes shut. We did not mean to be inhuman... It was important to sanitise everyone and there was a huge rush as large number of people had returned. So we did what we thought was best.
The plight of these migrant workers is not unknown to us or the government. It is important that we treat them with humanity in this time of crisis.