Sexual harassment row: 30 hurt as police use baton, water cannon on protesters in Faridkot
They were supporting a senior woman tutor who has filed a sexual harassment complaint against the head of department of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and HospitalUpdated: Dec 08, 2019 00:17 IST
Police used batons, water cannons and lobbed teargas shells to disperse protesters supporting a senior woman tutor who has filed a sexual harassment complaint against the head of department of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital on Saturday afternoon.
The 46-year-old senior woman tutor had filed a complaint against Faridkot medical college HoD alleging sexual harassment in August this year, but no FIR has been registered and all internal inquiries are pending. The DC had ordered an inquiry under additional deputy commissioner Paramjit Kaur on September 2.
The local complaints committee, probing the sexual harassment case has already missed the 90-day deadline of state women commission to submit the inquiry report to deputy commissioner, which ended on December 2.
Members of social organisations along with the woman tutor marched towards the deputy commissioner’s office but they were stopped by the police. A few protesters were hit by the batons on the head. Water cannons were used when the protesters tried to breach the first layer of barricade. The police also used teargas to disperse the protesters.
“Twenty five supporters, including the woman tutor were injured. We wanted to hold a peaceful agitation, but the administration did not allow it. There was no provocation from our side,” said Punjab Student Union (PSU) Faridkot president Keshav Azad.
A large contingent of police led by a superintendent of police Sewa Singh Malhi was deployed in the area as hundreds protesters started a rally from the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park to the DC office.
The Woman tutor and 17 protesters injured in the police action were admitted to the Faridkot hospital. Five police officers, including SP SS Malhi also sustained minor injuries.
The police detained some protesters but later released them. In the evening, police registered a first information report against five persons by name and over 50 unidentified persons under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332, 186, 283, 188, 148, 149 of the IPC and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act at the Faridkot city police station.
“The protesters used force and pelted police with stones. We asked them to protest at designated places but they marched towards the DC office leaving us with no other option but to use force. The investigation in the sexual harassment complaint is being conducted by the ADC, said the SP.
The protesters again took out a protest march in the main bazaar of the city in the evening.
THE CASE SO FAR
Aug 18: Woman tutor filed a sexual harassment complaint against HoD
Sept 2: Faridkot DC marks inquiry to ADC
Sept 9: State woman commission seeks report from department
Sept 16: Complaints committee summons HoD
Nov 16: Alleging inaction, victim tutor starts indefinite sit-in
Nov 23: Complaints committee submits report
Nov 25: DC asks committee to file fresh report