I am forwarding a mail I wrote to the CM Sheila Dikshit about the police harassment of 12 women participating in a peaceful gathering at Jantar Mantar on 25th Dec afternoon. The 12 of us (most people were meeting for the first time) were peacefully standing around discussing how to keep the momentum of pressure on the government going when 2 girls came running towards us with tears in their eyes saying that 3 of their female friends had been dragged away by cops to Parliament Street PS. We all went there to bring those women out but we were also violently pushed around and detained as well. Now the cops are denying we were detained at all… and threatening my daughter and me asking us to apologise for having shared our plight with the media outside, with tweets and smses and calls to media people and friends.
My daughter Shambhavi and I and a colleague of mine Reema Ganguly went to Jantar Mantar today 25th Dec to take part in a peaceful gathering there against the gang-rape.
At around 4pm two girls came running upto us in tears and said that the police had dragged away 2 of their female friends to Parliament Street Police Station and theya sked us to help bring them back. The three of us joined 9 other women and we went to the police station. When we reached there we only saw male constables. We demanded to talk to a female senior officer and said that the 3 women must be released immediately. The policemen very rudely and aggressively tried to chase us out. We refused to leave without those 3 women and so one male cop ordered some female cops standing in the courtyard to come in and arrest all of us.
All of us linked our arms and were being dragged away when I saw a female constable dragging a girl by her hair. My daughter Shambhavi ran to help her and before my eyes I saw a male cop and a female cop pulling my daughter’s hair and hitting her head against a wall I managed to extricate myself and ran towards the 2 young girls to protect them and we managed to get them away…we were then pushed into a small room where we found 4 other women detained earlier – they also recounted how they were slapped and their clothes torn while they were dragged here.
We were kept in that room for 3 hours with no reason being given and finally some woman from an NGO Deepjyoti she said came and said she will get us out if we apologise. We refused and when asked for our names and addresses and phone numbers we all collectively decided only to give other names because we were terrified of what the police would do with our contact information … the three of us – my daughter, my colleague and I gave our names as Divya, Geeta and Aastha.
While we were just about to leave, some cops came rushing out and demanded to know who ‘Shambhavi’ was, because some Shambhavi was informing the media that we were beaten up and detained (my daughter had been tweeting all that was happening) Terrified of what they would do to her, we pulled together and rushed out of there.
We reached home, terrified and hurting all over and now suddenly at 10.24pm, I receive a call from 01123361100 where a man said he was from the same NGO and if Shambhavi did not come and apologise to the SHO at Parliament Street, they would file an FIR against us and come and arrest us in the night itself.
Ma’am, please help.
A terrified mother,
- Delhi protests: 16 girls detained for four hours, allege manhandling by cops (ndtv.com)
- Delhi protests: detained girl alleges police harassment (thehindu.com)