Protests at Anantnag quarantine centre quelled with force

Anantnag: Several people quarantined at a government college here in Anantnag district were injured on Tuesday after authorities used force to quell their protests against lack of basic facilities, including food. The people quarantined at the college are mostly those who had come into contact with Covid-19 positive cases.
They also alleged nepotism in decision making vis-à-vis quarantining people at home or at the administrative quarantine centre established in the college.
More than a 100 people are under administrative quarantine at the Government Boys Degree College in Khannabal area of Anantnag. The quarantined people include around 30 children, some of them toddlers.
The quarantined people tried to leave the centre on Tuesday, complaining that no care was being taken of sanitization of the place, including the washrooms.
“People have been declared positive at this centre and every day new patients are brought in and mixed with the others. Either way we are going to contract the illness here,” a quarantined person said while talking to Kashmir Reader over phone.
The quarantined people said that the authorities had not even once fumigated the place in the past more than a week.
Besides, the people at the centre said, the food given to them was paltry. “Not only the quality of the food is bad, the quantity falls short everyday as well. Our children are going hungry and we have no one at home who could have brought some food for us,” a person said.
The people also alleged that the administration was allowing “well connected” contacts of Covid-19 patients to home quarantine themselves.
“But poor people like us are dragged to such filthy centers where there are no facilities or not. Nobody gives a damn and when we protest we are beaten ruthlessly,” a person said.
Kashmir Reader talked to DIG South Kashmir Atul Goel regarding use of force against the quarantined people. Goel asked this reporter to talk to the SSP.
“I don’t think any force has been used. You should talk to SSP Anantnag, though,” Goel said.
SSP Anantnag Sandeep Choudhry did not respond to phone calls and texts from this reporter.
Assistant commissioner revenue Anantnag Syed Yasir justified lathicharge for “larger public good”.
“Mild lathicharge today was warranted in larger public good as few unruly inmates were attempting to escape the quarantine centre. It’s being wrongly projected that there is lack of facilities. Despite persuasions & pleading, some were adamant on going home defying medical protocol,” he tweeted.
Yasir alleged involvement of some local auqaf politics and said that instigators will be booked. “Food, medicines, fumigation and sanitation being taken care of. Agreed, the comforts of home can’t be replicated . But isn’t this a crisis,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.