THE MUMBAI police that had registered at least 25 FIRs against protesters last week following protests by Dalit groups across the city have now booked 14 of the demonstrators also on the charge of “outraging the modesty of a woman”. According to the FIR, some protesters manhandled women police personnel. The booked protesters already face charges of rioting and causing hurt to public servants while discharging their duty.
In one case, a demonstrator pulled a woman officer’s hair, says an FIR.
The police said the accused in these cases were arrested soon after the incident.
S Bhosle, senior inspector at Chembur police station, said, “As some of the woman officers were manhandled at Chembur naka while trying to control the crowd, we have also invoked Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code along with other sections.” Another officer said the incident took place on January 2, the first day of the protests, at the Chembur naka junction.
“At least three policewomen were manhandled. While the protesters hit a woman on the head, two other policewomen were pushed,” the officer added.
The police said the 14 accused were later sent to judicial custody. “We are currently in the process of sifting though the footage from CCTV cameras installed at Vashi naka to get video evidence of the act. We are also checking the video footage that was captured by some of our officers on their mobile phones,” said an officer.
The FIRs were registered by police stations across the city after Dalit protesters vandalised property across the city to protest against the violence against Dalit groups at Bhima Koregaon on January 1.