Several traumatized women, including nuns, turned up to pour out tales of excesses by policemen of this coastal city to Girija Vyas, chairperson of the National Commission for Women, here on Wednesday.
Sisters Selma, Denesia, Preethi and Rekha, all belonging to the Santa Cruz Convent next to Cordel Church at Kulashekar, showed their wounds to Vyas and told her how, on Monday, policemen had rushed into the convent and church wielding their canes and firing teargas shells.
“More than a hundred of us inside the convent were hurt. I was trembling with fear and managed to shout at one policeman not to touch my body. A few minutes later, another policeman hit me with a lathi as I was washing my face to wipe the effects of teargas shells. A little later, I found a boy in an unconscious state and bleeding in the head. We were scared to go out for treatment and sat trembling inside the convent for a long time,” Sister Selma, 61, said.
These women later mobbed Krishna Palemar, the district in-charge minister, and top district officers. Some of them met JD-S chief H.D. Deve Gowda, seeking his intervention.
Vyas said: “I was horrified when I met the nuns. The police action is awful and shameful. We want a separate inquiry against these officers. We want the government to answer why these policemen entered schools and churches and even got on to the roof to beat up women and children. We want peace to be restored and protection for these women. I have told the home minister (Dr V.S. Acharya) that he must taken action against these policemen and officers.”
Acharya admitted to cases of police excesses. “When policemen move in to take action against a mob, there are bound to be such cases. The good news is that the city has returned to normalcy on the third day itself. On Thursday, we will take a decision in the cabinet on who should head the inquiry into all these incidents.”
He, however, continued to hold the New Life Fellowship Trust responsible for the attacks.