In a blatant violation of rules, the police have been accused of harassing delivery agents of various e-commerce companies delivering essentials like groceries, medicines, and food in the time of lockdown.
Citing the attacks the companies have urged the government to take immediate actions against the police.
The companies also allege that due to the attacks a huge amount of fresh produce had to be thrown away.
K. Ganesh promoter of online platforms like BigBasket, FreshMenu and Portea Medical, told NDTV that over the last few days, policemen have abused, assaulted and even arrested a delivery agent leading to huge disruption in their activities.
“Even though the government has taken absolutely the right step and has been categorical in exempting essential services and have specified essential services like online delivery of goods, groceries, food, medicines and medical equipment, that message has not gone to the people down the line,” Ganesh said.
Alleging that the cops are being harsh and beating people up he added, “the cop there (at service) does not know that it’s an essential service, he has no mechanism to allow and disallow somebody. In many cases, they are being harsh. In Kerala, one of our health workers going to service a patient was arrested.”
He further requested the police, that in case of any violation they should put a challan instead of beating people up.
Online grocery retailer Grofers and meat delivery platform FreshToHome, resonated with Ganesh and said they too were facing obstructions in delivering due to authorities enforcing the coronavirus lockdown.
We @grofers are having a lot of trouble getting essentials to people who need them as our warehouses are asked to shut, and trucks and delivery partners are being stopped by the police. We apologise to our customers and are working hard to find a solution.
— Saurabh Kumar (@theknownface) March 22, 2020
In an unfortunate event, milk delivery website, MilkBasket said it was forced to dump 15,000 litres of milk and 10,000 kg of vegetables due to which they can’t deliver fresh milk in Gurgaon, Noida and Hyderabad.
@PMOIndia @cmohry @narendramodi @BJP4Haryana #milkbasket why milkbasket delivery guys are being harassed? Ain’t milk and groceries considered as essentials? During the lockdown time, when there is so much of shortage of all the essentials, they had to dump 1000s of litres of milk pic.twitter.com/AnkC3XGMQN
— Swati Walia (@Swati_w) March 24, 2020
Not just e-commerce companies, even restaurants allege that they are facing a similar crackdown on their takeaways.
They allege the police don’t allow food delivery as they are unaware of the exceptions made by the government.
The news of police brutality comes amid the announcement of the central government claiming it was taking steps to ensure smooth delivery of basic necessities after things flew off shelves from shopping marts ahead of 21-day lockdown in wake of coronavirus.