It’s been two days since the Tiruppur Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police Pandiarajan was caught on camera slapping a woman protester during an anti-TASMAC demonstration. Even as the visuals continue to cause outrage in the state, the victim Eswari on Wednesday alleged that no political leader or police official had reached out to her following the assault.
Speaking to reporters, 45-year-old Eswari, a daily wage worker, said, “No political leader has come and met us barring BJP’s Tamilisai. No one from the police has come. We haven’t even received a phone call.” Eswari sustained injuries to her ear and her legs.
The assault took place at Samalapuram on Tuesday when women were marching on the road against a state-run liquor shop being relocated to the area. The visuals show the police official pushing Eswari with a lathi and then slapping her.
While the state government told the Madras High Court on Wednesday that an investigation has been ordered into the incident, Eswari said the protests would be withdrawn only after Pandiarajan is dismissed.
“There were lot of women police officers, but Pandiarajan came and hit us. I held the cane, and then he slapped me,” she narrated.
Eswari also accused Sulur MLA R Kanagaraj of supporting the police action.
“The car hadn’t gone even two metres, and they started hitting us. They couldn’t have hit us without the MLA’s support. They have done this with his support,” she alleged.
Residents had taken to the streets to protest against the government's move to shift a TASMAC from the highway to their area. When Sulur MLA R Kanagaraj's car passed through the area during these demonstrations, they attempted to block the vehicle.
Despite the MLA attempting to negotiate with the protesters, they refused to withdraw their agitation. It was after the MLA left the venue that the police lathicharged the protesters including women. Those demonstrating had allegedly thrown stones at the police in retaliation.
Meanwhile, protests continued in Selaripalayam on Thursday against the TASMAC shop being relocated to a residential area. Claiming that the tipplers were coming to their neighbourhood liquor shop after 144 TASMAC outlets were shut in Coimbatore district, protesters said women in the area are unable to move around safely owing to the large crowds.