People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
SHO Assaults AIDWA Leader, Misbehaves With Women MPs
THE All India Democratic Womens Association (AIDWA) has strongly condemned the shocking assault on its Delhi state general secretary, Ashalata, by Satyavir Dagar, SHO of Badarpur police station, on August 27 evening. This was followed by his aggressive misbehaviour with two women MPs --- Professor Premajam (Lok Sabha) and Sarala Maheshwari (Rajya Sabha). The AIDWA has demanded his immediate arrest for criminal assault and dismissal from service.
In this unprecedented incident of brutal assault, the SHO slapped Ashalata several times on her face, head and ears, dragged her physically, threw her on the ground and abused her profusely in filthy language. Ashalata had gone to the police station, along with some women of Jaitpur village (Badarpur), to complain against the private electricity contractors of DVB (Delhi Vidyut Board) who were harassing the residents of Jaitpur. Prior to attacking Ashalata, in an unheard-of manner, the SHO quickly photographed the delegation and threatened the women. He said he now had their photographs and will now ruin their husbands so that women would not dare to come to the police station.
Soon after hearing about the incident, AIDWA treasurer Kalindi Deshpande, and members of parliament Professor Premajam and Sarala Maheshwari, reached the police station to enquire about the matter. But the SHO once again misbehaved with them by asking them to get out. He even lifted his chair to assault them physically. The MPs immediately contacted the home minister L K Advani, at around 11.15 p m, who assured them that he would personally look into the matter.
This is a telling example of how the life of women, particularly of those in public life, is in danger --- not only from anti-social elements but from the so-called protectors of society.
DETAILS OF THE INCIDENT
In a letter written to the Union home minister LK Advani, Ashalata detailed the incident and sought stringent action against the guilty police official. She also made it clear that such physical assaults will not cow them down.
The details are as follows :
On 27-08-2001 at about 5 : 30 p.m., Ashalatha along with Badarpur district secretary of AIDWA Asha Yadav, led a delegation of few women from Jaitpur area to the Badarpur police station. They had gone there to lodge a complaint against the private contractors of the Delhi Vidyut Board who were harassing these women.
Initially, for a few minutes the SHO, Inspector Satyavir Dagar appeared to be listening to the AIDWA leaders complaint but very soon he changed his stance and suddenly became very rude and arrogant. He brought out a camera from his room and quickly took a few photographs of the leaders and women present there. Having completed clicking his camera, he then started threatening women in the most abusive language. "Now that I have your photographs, I will ruin you and your husbands, so that you will never come to the police station (main tumhara pati ko barbaad karunga ta ki tum log thana ana bhul jaoge)" he shouted along with a shower of filthy abuses which cannot be quoted here.
When Ashalatha brought to his notice that being head of the police station, he should restrain himself from using such a threatening language, he caught hold of her and slapped her left and right, on her head and ears and then dragged her in the presence of all the women present over there. She was badly hurt with her cheeks and eyes swollen and hair pulled apart.
He then drove the women out of the police station by saying; "This serves you right, now you will never dare to enter this police station."
When the leaders retreated and informed their colleagues, immediately AIDWA president Kalindi Deshpande and two members of Parliament, Prof. Premjam (LS) and Sarala Maheshwari (RS), who also happen to be the members of the central executive committee of AIDWA rushed to the Badarpur police station along Ashalatha and other women. The SHO was still in such an aggressive mood that even after the intervention of the MP's, he continued with his misbehaviour. At one point of time, he asked the MP's to "get out" and was on the verge of becoming physically violent with them.
The AIDWA leader Ashalatha has stated in her letter that it is not the first time that leaders of AIDWA, both state and local level, have faced such hostile behaviour from police personnel in the city of Delhi. "While our organisation is trying hard to make women aware of their citizen rights, with brutal assaults and threatenings, the city police is trying to silence their voice, but WE SHALL NOT BE COWED DOWN" she stated in unambigous terms.
HUNDREDS STAGE DHARNA IN PROTEST
The Station House Officer of Badarpur, who had threatened AIDWA leaders that they will never ever dare to enter a police station, had to eat humble pie as an FIR had to be registered against him in the same police station for assaulting the AIDWA leaders. This followed staging of huge dharnas by hundreds of women in front of the office of Commissioner of Delhi Police and later in front of Badarpur police station on August 29th. AIDWA general secretary Brinda Karat led the women in these protests. The DCP and ACP of the area had to rush to the police station to pacify the agitating women. The protestors exposed the powerful nexus between the police and the private contractors of DVB. The people of the area were apreciative of and drew inspiration from the AIDWA women for the brave manner in which they fought this nexus.