Migrant workers sprayed with 'disinfectant' in UP

Migrant workers sprayed with 'disinfectant' in Uttar Pradesh; many suffer burning sensation

Many in the group, mostly children, complained of burning sensation and reddish eyes

A screen grab shows healthcare workers, in protective suits, spray a solution through hose pipe on migrants before allowing them to enter the town of Bareilly, Monday, March 30, 2020. (PTI Photo)

In a shocking incident, a group of migrant workers, which also included women and children, were 'disinfected' by spraying, what the officials called 'sanitiser', on them in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly town, about 250 kilometres from here.

Many in the group, mostly children, complained of burning sensation and reddish eyes.

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District officials in Bareilly said that the fire brigade teams and the municipal corporation authorities had been directed to sanitise the buses in which the migrant workers, fleeing Delhi and other places after lockdown, were to travel to their native towns and villages on Sunday.

''It may have happened owing to their over enthusiasm....the workers are being treated at the district hospital....action will be taken against the guilty,'' said a senior district official in Bareilly on Monday.

The matter came to light when a video showed about 50 migrant workers and their family members sitting on the ground being sprayed by some people in protective gear with what looked like a chemical solution. It later turned out that they were sprayed with Sodium Hypochlorite.

Sodium Hypochlorite is a bleaching agent used widely in textiles and detergents. It can cause burning of the skin if it is used in concentrated form.

The opposition parties slammed the UP government for what they alleged ''inhuman treatment'' of the migrant workers.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said in a tweet that the migrant workers had already been facing a lot of difficulties. ''Kindly don't bath them in chemicals...it will pose health risks for them,'' she said.

BSP supremo Mayawati also said that it was ''inhuman and cruel to spray them with pesticide''.

Lakhs of migrant workers have been arriving in the state capital of Lucknow and other towns from Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana after lockdown was declared.

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