In a shocking incident, videos of a senior government official in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia district showing people getting beaten up randomly during a mask-checking drive have gone viral, while leading to an outrage online among the netizens. The nearly one-minute clip shows Sub Divisional Magistrate Ashok Chaudhary and a team of home guards carrying out physical attacks using sticks on two mask-clad men, who were pulled off a shop and onto the street. The clip shows the men making desperate attempts to shield themselves from the attack of Ballia's SDM, who thrashed them up, with the two seen and heard asking the home guards the reason for such a behavior towards them. 

The Sub Divisional Magistrate has since been suspended according to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Office. The CMO tweeted, "Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken cognizance of misbehaviour with people by Ballia SDM Ashok Chaudhary. Directions have been given to suspend him with immediate effect," CMO tweeted.

The footage shows one among the two men, who were assaulted by the home guards, bleeding profusely. The video also showed additional clips of the same team assaulting people at a government complex, while launching an attack on an elderly person for not wearing a mask properly.

Speaking to reporters, the young man said that the official turned angry when his brother was seen wearing a handkerchief to cover his face and asserted that it was allowed. Several similar examples of abuse of power by police personnel on the people have been reported of late on social media during the COVID-19-induced restrictions. 

Uttar Pradesh reported a record 95 deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the death toll in the state to 2,733 persons. The state also saw 4,991 fresh coronavirus cases being registered taking the tally to 1,72,334, as per the official data released by the Health Ministry. UP currently has 48,511 COVID-19 cases, while the number of recoveries after treatment in hospitals reached 1,21,090.