A woman and her son-in-law in Kadaykkal on the outskirts of Kollam district were arrested on Thursday for assaulting and hindering the duty of an ASHA worker who was on field conducting the polio vaccination drive in the state.
The woman and her son-in-law allegedly assaulted the ASHA worker on Wednesday, seemingly under the impression that she had come to collect citizenship details as part of the controversial National Register of Citizens.
Sajeena Beevi, 49, and her son-in-law Raif, 29, have been arrested by the Kadayakkal police under Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 354 of the IPC (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
ASHA worker Maheswari Amma, who is in her 50s, was with a group of other ASHA workers who were collecting details of children who were not administered the polio vaccine in the statewide drive held on January 19.
“Maheswari Amma was writing a number — that of the houses they had covered that day as a part of collecting details — on the wall of Sajeena Beevi’s house, while others in her group had gone to take details from the neighbouring houses. Soon Sajeena Beevi and Raif came out of the house and questioned her, saying that they don’t have any children at home to give details on polio. Though Maheswari Amma tried to explain her work, the duo didn’t listen presumably because they thought that someone was collecting details of their citizenship,” Rajesh M, Circle Inspector of Kadaykkal Police Station, told TNM.
Sajeena Beevi and Raif then hindered Maheswari Amma from performing her work. Soon the other ASHA workers came to the spot and informed the police. The police booked the duo on Wednesday.
According to Rajesh, Sajeena Beevi and Raif will be produced before the magistrate on Thursday.