A local administration officer and a group of policemen were attacked by a mob at a village in Jharkhand’s Saraikela, where a crowded mela was going on amid the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 crisis.
Hundreds of people were attending the mela. When the police heard about it, they contacted the block development officer and decided to stop the event, where the huge crowds could be a big risk amid the raging pandemic.
The police said they tried to persuade the villagers to end the mela and go home. However, the negotiation broke down and the villagers in a bid to force out the policemen attacked them.
Mobile videos of the incident show policemen running towards safety as a mob surrounds them on the dusty mela ground. Some people are seen throwing stones at the policemen. Many of the villagers are seen without mask.
One policeman is seen being attacked with sticks by three teenagers.
The police said the block development officer and the police station in-charge were also hit by the villagers.
Jharkhand is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, as are several states like Maharashtra and Delhi. The state is in a lockdown since Thursday.
Central government, state government and private sector offices are exempted from the shutdown.
Religious places are open, but only a fixed number of devotees are allowed.
The surge in Covid cases in recent weeks have led to what is now being called a deadlier second wave of the pandemic. Social media is full of stories of desperate people trying to find oxygen or a hospital bed for their friends and family.