A day after thousands of anganwadi workers called off their four-day-long protest in Bengaluru against the Karnataka government following assurances to meet their demands for pay hike, reports say that the police have filed cases against several members.
Deccan Herald reports that the Bengaluru police have registered cases against seven members of the association, who protested in Freedom Park from Monday.
According to a report in The Times of India, an FIR against the members of Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers' Association was filed on Monday, the day they began the protest.
Cases against the association president S Varalakshmi and office bearers Shanta N Ghanti, Sunanda HS, Kamal G and Yamuna Ghantawala have been registered at Upparpet police station, under sections IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 143 (unlawful assembly), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant), the report states.
Meanwhile, the members saw the government's move as a means to discourage the protesters by misleading them.
Speaking to TOI, Varalakshmi said, "The news of FIR has been deliberately leaked late and I have been flooded with calls from my members. It's clear that the government is trying to demotivate us. We will not be deterred by all this and will continue our fight."
However, the report also quoted an unnamed senior official as saying that registering cases against protesters was a routine procedure.
"Whoever blocks the road and protests outside the park will be booked under the same sections," the officer was quoted as saying. The police told DH that although permission was given to the protesters for a peaceful demonstration within the Freedom Park, they had instead spilled on to the streets, thereby affecting the traffic movement.
Nearly ten thousand women anganwadi workers from across the state began a protest at Freedom Park on Monday, demanding a 43% pay hike. The protesters, several of whom were accompanied by their children, even spent the nights at the protest ground.