Man in red t-shirt crossed the containment zone to allegedly attack Arnab Mandal
Man in red t-shirt crossed the containment zone to allegedly attack Arnab Mandal|EastMojo image
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Man allegedly assaulted for doing Facebook live of containment zone norm violation

Bongaigaon man allegedly attacked while doing a Facebook live to show how residents are breaking containment zone norms

Amlan Jyoti Das

Amlan Jyoti Das

Guwahati:A man was allegedly assaulted by a resident from a COVID-19 containment in Bongaigaon for doing a Facebook live to spread awareness of the norms to follow inside a containment zone.

The incident took place at RK Mission Road, Natunpara, Bongaigaon, when 33-year-old Arnab Mandal as a concerned citizen was reporting on people breaking containment norms. “On July 8 I saw people of the RK Mission Road crossing the containment zones through the side,” said Mandal. His Facebook live captures residents of the area attempting to cross the zone only to be stopped by Mandal and his companions. “Most of them as you can see in the video were not even wearing masks,” he added.

Man without a mask attempting to cross the containment zone
Man without a mask attempting to cross the containment zone Facebook live screengrab
A small side partition in the boundary wall is through which Mandal alleges, two-wheelers and other vehicles commute
A small side partition in the boundary wall is through which Mandal alleges, two-wheelers and other vehicles commute Facebook live screengrab
People kept on coming trying to get through the zone
People kept on coming trying to get through the zone Facebook live screengrab

“We were scared for this is a serious virus, and our area has a lot of elderly people along with kids as well, people coming out of containment zones will put us at risk,” said Mandal.

Nearly seven minutes into the live, and he is interrupted by a man from inside the containment zone accusing Mandal, “Who gave you the authority to do Facebook live?” The man keeps angrily accusing Mandal and even cames out of the containment zone to snatch his phone. It is here that Mandal alleged of being physically assaulted. A view from a different Facebook video one can see the man charging at Mandal. “He even said that the administration and IC are in his ‘pocket’ and challenged me,” added Mandal.

Man in red t-shirt is the alleged attacker
Man in red t-shirt is the alleged attacker Facebook live screengrab
He crossed the containment zone as well
He crossed the containment zone as well Facebook live screengrab

Mandal then reached out for police help and was asked to do a medical check before filing an FIR. According to the medical reports, Mandal suffered “bruises” and showed signs of “tenderness.” “Police official then called me up to ask whether I was ready to file the report for they said that I must be ready for a lot of paperwork and casework,” said Mandal. According to him, people were supportive in the face however none did want the hassle of cases. “I am lone man with my aged mom so even I dropped the case,” he added.

Medical report of Mandal after the alleged attack
Medical report of Mandal after the alleged attack EastMojo image

The determination of containment zones is made under the regulations of “The Assam COVID-19 Regulations 2020” and any violations of this order will attract action under the act’s provisions along with “The Disaster Management Act, 2005” and “The Epidemic Disease Act, 1897.” EastMojo reached out to SP Bongaigaon, Subodh Sonowal to get his view on the matter.

"The incident was a minor one for it is a case of misunderstanding. According to the district administration directives the house from where a COVID-19 person is detected is a designated containment zone and not the entire area," Sonowal said. He added that police immediately intervened and cleared the matter and admitted that Mandal did sustain some minor injuries.

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