Policing During India’s Covid-19 Lockdown: A Review of Reported Accounts of Police Excesses
This report presents a compilation of reported incidents of excesses committed by the police across states during India’s nation-wide lockdown from 24 March 2020 to 31 May 2020. Collected through a daily systematic scanning of media sources, this report compiles nearly 150 reported instances of the police employing physical force through beating, kicking, or lathi-charge; as well as in icting verbal abuse, insults and degrading treatment on people, including essential service providers. At least 20 people lost their lives in this period, following an interaction with the police, either on the streets or in police custody. Migrant workers and daily wage labourers, in particular, bore the brunt of police excesses across the country. Documenting these incidents is important to challenge efforts to deny extensive resort to excess force by police during this period. The broader aim is to strongly recognize the need to seek accountability and emphasize the urgent necessity for broader systemic reform.