A group of people, described as migrant workers returned from their cities of work to Uttar Pradesh amid India’s lockdown, were sprayed with a chemical solution containing bleach in order to “sanitize” them, NDTV and local officials said.
Video recorded at a bus station in Bareilly on March 30 shows a group of people crouched on the ground while officials in hazmat suits spray the solution on them.
According to local news reports, the workers had returned to the region over the weekend after buses were arranged for them.
Bareilly’s chief fire officer, Chandra Mohan Sharma, told local media that the chemical used was sodium hypochlorite, the main ingredient in bleach.
Nitish Kumar, the district magistrate of Bareilly, tweeted that the action was under investigation. He said instructions had been given to disinfect buses, rather than passengers.
On March 29, Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologized to the nation’s poor and asked for forgiveness as the country’s three-week lockdown had forced thousands of newly unemployed workers to leave cities and go back to their native regions. Credit: Randeep Singh via Storyful