An employee of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) was seriously injured, after she was allegedly beaten by a policeman during a protest in Hyderabad on Saturday.
TSRTC employees, who have been on strike for over a month, had planned to lay siege to Tank Bund, situated in the heart of the city. Authorities had denied permission and beefed up security. As things escalated, police used batons and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. Some protesters pelted stones at the police.
A video doing the rounds on social media shows the woman, crying in pain, as a large number of people are gathered around her, holding her nose with a cloth and standing by with water.
In the foreground, some protesters are seen arguing with the police even as others who had gathered filmed the dispute.
A police officer is seen asking the protesters to back off and even seen using his baton on one man as others are heard saying that he was the one who hit the woman.
Watch the video below.
ఇది దారుణం కన్ను పోయింది మహిళది pic.twitter.com/1z3xPXk5ll— Pulse of Telangana (@PTelangana) November 9, 2019
A photo of the woman being given first aid by fellow protesters, with a pool of blood next to her, also did the rounds.
ఇ రక్తానికి విలువెంతా???— venkatsainathkadapa (@venku0980) November 9, 2019
రాజ్యాన్ని అధికారాన్ని అధికార మదాన్ని కుల్చెంత @Pavanstweetz @iamsurenpantulu @Mallik_Y1988 @Thandava7 @rupeshreddy @pradeepgoud11 @BJP4Telangana @ProfKodandaram @K_Nageshwar @TSRTCTS @dspreddy12345 @DamireddyPavan @PawanKalyan pic.twitter.com/BRAATQgifN
According to local media reports, the woman is a conductor from Kalwakurthy depot in Mahbubnagar district. She was injured on her nose and also received slight injuries on her forehead.
Visuals of another woman, who was also injured on her hand during the protests, also circulated on social media.
"I was going back from the side, but a policeman chased me and hit me repeatedly," the woman told a local media outlet.
When contacted, the police refused to offer a comment.
However, when asked by a reporter on Saturday evening about police injuring women protesters, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said that they could not 'jump to conclusions' based on photos and added that they would enquire into the issue.
Anjani Kumar also claimed that frontal organisations of Maoists were involved in Saturday's violence.
The police chief said the police baton-charged to disperse a 'violent' mob and prevent further violence. He said the police would register cases against those involved in the violence and take firm action.
The strike by over 48,000 TSRTC employees entered the 36th day on Saturday. Their demands include merger of TSRTC with the government.
However, taking a tough stand, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government rejected the demand for merger and even announced privatisation of half of the TSRTC routes.
Though the Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the state government to take the initiative to resolve the employees' demands, no end to the stalemate appears in sight as both sides are sticking to their stand.