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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

15 hurt as cops lathicharge protesting teachers in P’kula

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Panchkula, August 02, 2014
First Published: 10:40 IST(2/8/2014) | Last Updated: 10:42 IST(2/8/2014)

As many as 15 computer school teachers, including two women, were injured when the police used water cannons and batons to disperse around 200 of them at Sector 5 in Panhckula, on Friday afternoon.

One of the injured, Umesh, a native of Rohtak, has slipped into coma and is being treated at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

The teachers, demanding revision in wages, wanted to take out a march from Shiksha Sadan in Sector 5, here, to Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s residence, when they were stopped at the police barricades.

Women teachers were also not spared and were manhandled by male cops with the women in uniform preferring to be spectators to the brutality.

The teachers have been protesting for over a month in support of their demands and 25 of them were detained.

Razia, a teacher, who suffered injuries on the head by a baton, said: “We were ruthlessly attacked with batons. Policemen manhandled us, as the women cops just stood watching.” Razia was among the 15 taken to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, with injuries.

The president of the association of the computer teachers Balram told HT, “It has been over a month that we have been protesting for revision of salaries and for other benefits, but no one has paid us any heed. We were treated like cattle and pushed into police vans after being thrashed.”

As news of the police excess spread, DCP Rahul Sharma, ADC SP Arora and SDM Hema Sharma rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.

Members of the media, who had footage of the baton charge, showed officials the footage. Officials promised action against the guilty.

Another protesting teacher Ranjana alleged that the women were not only manhandled, but were also groped by policemen.

“The police just thrashed whosoever was in their range. It is our right to protest. If they wanted to stop our march, they could have just bundled us in police vans. Where was the need for police brutality and for using batons?”

The rampaging cops did not even spare the media and used batons on them as well.

DCP Rahul Sharma said: “The video footage of the incident will be analysed and appropriate action taken.” Among those leading the police team in using batons was Sector 5 station house officer Baljit Kumar.

REPORTERS ALSO THRASHED

The cops did not even spare the media and at least five journalists, including two women reporters, were hit with batons. Male policemen manhandled women journalists too.

A reporter with the Dainik Tribune, Sandeep, suffered shoulder injuries and his clothes were torn off.

The journalists have given a complaint in writing and also protested against the police brutality.

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