Mumbai Bagh stir: Cops 'manhandle' protesters

Updated: Mar 07, 2020, 08:58 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Agitators claim cops tried to tear down temporary shed put up by women

Screenshot shows cops trying to snatch the cover from the protesters
Screenshot shows cops trying to snatch the cover from the protesters

Days after snatching away their umbrellas and leaving them to burn in the heat, the police on Friday tore away the sheets the women had put up for some shade from the harsh sunlight. Mumbai Bagh protesters, who have been agitating against the CAA and NRC for over a month, alleged that police manhandled several women, injuring seven of them.

The protesters said after the police had removed the umbrellas last month, women put up shade at the site on Thursday night, but once again, the police objected. Around 1 am, Shalini Sharma, senior inspector of Nagpada police, was patrolling the area and told them to remove the temporary shed and we did so, said the protesters.

However, they once again spread the sheet over their heads using trees for support. Around 5.30 am, Sharma arrived at the site with several police officers, most of them in plain clothes, while others did not have name badges on their uniforms.

"Most of police personnel were in plain clothes and they tried to pull the cloth, leading to a tussle with the protesters. The police officers manhandled the protesters," said Guddi Shamla Lalta Prasad, a protester. She added that they have demanded that Sharma be removed from the duty of providing security at Mumbai Bagh.

"Police came and started vandalising all the arrangements made by the women. During the scuffle with the police officers, a few women protesters, including senior citizens, sustained hairline fractures and minor bruises," Mubasshira Shaikh, a protester, told mid-day. The Nagpada police, however, accused a few protesters of instigating the women to make noise about being assaulted.

Later, all the protesters visited the Byculla police station and demanded that the police register an FIR in the matter. A Byculla police officer said they have told the protesters to submit videos of the alleged assault, which they examining and take an action accordingly.

Dr Reshma Sheikh, who has also been protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens, asked, "What the problem was with building a temporary shed and that's why the police came and beat up the women early in the morning?"

SI Sharma told mid-day, "Putting a shed on the road is not allowed. So, we were removing it when the men at the site spoiled the atmosphere."

No. of women protesting against the CAA and the NRC allegedly injured during the scuffle with the cops on Friday morning

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