A video of a woman’s saree being tangled when a police officer attempted to break a fight in Telangana during the ongoing Road Transport Corporation (RTC) strike has triggered a row, with the visuals being widely shared on social media.
The incident, which took place in Hanamkonda town near Warangal on Thursday, shows a woman tugging at her sareee, which is being held by a police officer, while trying to move away from him. The police officer appears to be breaking up a fight between two women. The women were protesting at the Martyrs junction, near the Hanmakonda court.
The visuals also showed male cops trying to handle and push the protesting women back, despite the presence of female cops at the spot.
Watch the video below.
A video from Kazipet in #Warangal wherein male cops can be seen dealing with protesting women TSRTC employees. Why can't we have adequate women cops deployed to avoid these situations? #TSRTC #tsrtcstrike pic.twitter.com/swDEqCgYAK— Paul Oommen (@Paul_Oommen) October 10, 2019
The officer in question was identified as Kazipet Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Narsing.
Speaking to BBC Telugu, the ACP refuted the allegations of inappropriate behaviour and said, “We were taking the protesters into custody as they had started rushing towards the local court. The woman who is seen in the visual was being pulled by her pallu (in the chaos). So, I went there to stop that, as there was danger of her falling. But it is being blurred and shown as if I intentionally pulled her saree.”
However, this still does not explain the lapse of judgement on male officers trying to handle female protesters as the norms say that women police officers should have been deployed for crowd management in this situation.
Local media reported that some women who were allegedly injured in the protest were later taken to MGM hospital in Warangal for treatment.
Several Joint Action Committee (JAC) leaders and civil society activists were also detained while they are taking part in the protest rally.
Meanwhile, the RTC strike entered its 6th day with government and RTC unions remaining firm on their stands.
The JAC, spearheading the strike by over 48,000 employees, made it clear that they will not resume their duties until the government accepts their major demands.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister P Ajay claimed that the strike is not having much impact on the bus services.TSRTC in-charge Managing Director Sunil Sharma told the High Court on Thursday that 8,150 vehicles were being operated. These include 3,013 RTC buses, 1,804 hired buses and 2,637 maxi cabs.