The policeman in the video who was seen manhandling women, has since been identified as a Circle Inspector.

Caught on camera Vizag police manhandle anganwadi workers demanding wage hike
news Controversy Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 08:56

Two women can be seen asking people to sit down and not budge even as a police officer approaches them and pushes them repeatedly. When the women refuse to back down, the police officer continues to push and manhandle them.

The Visakhapatnam police in Andhra Pradesh were caught on camera manhandling anganwadi workers who were protesting and demanding a hike in their salaries on Monday.

The incident took place when workers and activists gathered in front of the office of the Visakhapatnam Integrated Child Development Society (ICDS) Project Director.

The protesters claimed that they were waiting for government officials, who were not in the city, from early in the morning. As it got sunny, those who had gathered sought to seek shade near the building's basement. 

However, they alleged that the police did not let them sit anywhere near the government complex, which outraged the workers, who began walking towards the building's gate.

In a bid to stop the workers and activists, the police blocked the road and even picked up and detained a few people as the situation became tense.

The women then said that they were agitated by the excessive police force being used against them and began raising slogans, before blocking the road.  

However, the police seemingly refused to step back as male police officers were then caught on camera manhandling women protesters, before taking them into custody. 

Speaking to TNM, Visakhapatnam District General Secretary of the Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union, K Venkata Lakshmi, said, "We were fighting for our basic rights. Our salary payments have been delayed for months and there is not enough allocated for even rations."

"We were promised that our salary would be Rs 18,000 per month, but we are getting beaten for asking about delayed payments, forget getting a hike," she said.

The policeman in the video who was seen manhandling women, has since been identified as a Circle Inspector.

"Though there were women police, that officer pushed us from behind and was constantly touching us. How can he do that? This is nothing but demeaning and humiliating us," Venkata Lakshmi added.

Angered by the violent behaviour of the police, the women activists gathered at the MVP Police Station on Monday afternoon.

As hundreds of activists raised slogans against the police, the detained women were released and the police granted them permission to hold a meeting in Andhra University Engineering College Grounds.

Following this, the workers submitted a representation to the District Revenue Officer (DRO).

"This is what the governments are giving them in return for doing such tasking jobs. Besides working on the ICDS project, they work as health workers, population surveyors for the central government also pitch in during certain work for the state government. Still, they had to protest to get what they deserve," CITU Visakhapatnam General Secretary T Mani told TNM.

Condemning the police excess, she demanded immediate action against the police officer who manhandled the women. She also said that the demands of the anganwadi workers must be met.

 

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