The Dossier
Arumugam passes away due to Covid-19

Abuse And Negligence: Inhumanity Towards Minorities and Inmates  

As the Covid-19 era worsens, the lives of the essential workers, minorities and economically lower classes shed blood, sweat and tears in hopes of acknowledgement and appreciation. But that is simply far from the truth. Like the case of Arumugam, the country has witnessed the loss of n-number of migrant workers’ lives.

Meanwhile, police brutality shooting through the roof, unemployment taking a hike as well, and an acute shortage of funds and resources allocated for its enormous population, India is trembling over the past few months.

Amidst all this, there have been stories and testimonials of various essential workers, victims, their families and such, expressing their plight and struggles, and the lack of attention that is being given to them, despite the pressing circumstances imposed due to Covid-19.

S Arumugam, for instance, was the Corporation office assistant who believed with utmost conviction that he would be recognised by the Chennai Corporation for his relentless and diligent efforts taken during the pandemic of Covid-19. According to a report by New Indian Express, Arumugam was deployed at a hospital in the Royapuram zone.

His wife said that she begged him to not go to work as he would be putting our children and grandchild at risk. In response, he said that this was the time his work was most needed and that he would win an award someday for his hard work during the pandemic. He added that he could not skip Covid-19 duty and went to work even on holidays.

It was earlier in May, that Arumugam’s daughter who lived in the same house, had tested positive for the coronavirus. When the Corporation tested the rest of the family members for the same, it was reported that Arumugam and his grandson had been infected as well. Although his daughter and grandson overcame Covid-19, it was less than a month after that the unfortunate news of Arumugam’s passing away due to the very disease came. 

It was bad enough that the family had to try and cope with their recent loss, that they complained and expressed how they were finding it extremely difficult even to get enough food for everyone in the house. 

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Arumugam’s son attested to the immense pride that his father took when it came to working within and for the Chennai Corporation, especially given the circumstances of Covid-19. Having worked alongside decorated Mayors, such as DMK president MK Stalin as well as the party’s Saidapet MLA Ma Subramanian, it was understandable why Arumugam must have felt that he would be appreciated for his efforts at some point in time.

The son informed how his father would tell him that “even when people tried to bribe him to put in a good word to the officials to whom he was an assistant he would simply refuse. He would say that every meal we ate was a result of his hard work.” As opposed to the single bedroom house with unstable roof in Chetpet, that was covered with old banners over the woven coconut leaves to prevent it from leaking, he said that his father told him how they could have lived in a bigger house had he accepted the bribes offered to him. 

Arumugam’s daughter also complained about how the family once had to stay up all night in a miserable condition as it poured through the roof. “When all three of us were quarantined together, he said his seniors at the Corporation were very appreciative of his work. But after his death, we have received no support from the government for which he worked for decades,” she added.

Even now, the family has no income, no savings and needless to say, no help from the corporation or the government. 

Similar is the case of those under the police custody, and that is not just in these ongoing times of the pandemic. In the year 2019 alone, 1,731 people met their fate; according to a report ‘India: Annual Report on Torture 2019’, around 1,606 of these happened under the judicial custody and 125 under the police custody. The report published by National Campaign Against Torture (NCAT) states, “Out of the 125 deaths in police custody, Uttar Pradesh topped with 14 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu and Punjab with 11 deaths each and Bihar with 10 deaths.”

An article by The Hindu stated, “The other States in that order are Madhya Pradesh with nine deaths; Gujarat with eight; Delhi and Odisha with seven each; Jharkhand with six; Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan with five each; Andhra Pradesh and Haryana with four each; Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal with three each; Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Manipur with two each; and Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana and Tripura with one each.”

The NCAT director Paritosh Chakma informed, “Torture methods used in 2019 included hammering iron nails in the body (Gufran Alam and Taslim Ansari of Bihar), applying roller on legs and burning (Rizwan Asad Pandit of Jammu and Kashmir), ‘falanga’ wherein the soles of the feet are beaten (Rajkumar of Kerala), stretching legs apart in the opposite side (Rajkumar of Kerala), and hitting in private parts (Brijpal Maurya and Lina Narjinari of Haryana).” 

It was further reported that “electric shock, pouring petrol or applying chilli powder on private parts, beating while handcuffed, pricking body with needles, branding with a hot iron rod, beating after stripping, urinating in mouth, inserting a hard blunt object into the anus, beating after hanging upside down with hands and legs tied, forcing to perform oral sex, pressing fingernails with pliers, beating with iron rods after the victim is suspended between two tables with hands and legs tied, and kicking the abdomen of a pregnant woman” were the other torture techniques that were implemented. 

Each worse than the one before, it is quite evident that the officials have been taking liberty in being “creative” in their ways of torture. At this point, we cannot help but think how pathetically they have deviated from their motives and responsibilities. An undue advantage, to say the least, has been taken and dragged to the worse possible extent where the “defenders of the law” who are supposed to fight injustice, have taken it upon themselves to abuse their powers in the most inhuman ways possible — something that without a doubt is bound to escalate in the detrimental sense given these times of pandemic.  займ без паспортных данных на картузайм на карту 500 рублейзайм на карту рейтинг взять займ быстро деньгизайм тверьонлайн займ контакт

Tanvi Kulkarni

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