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DCW alleges Swati Maliwal manhandled by police during ‘Rape Roko’ protest

The DCW had launched a ‘rape roko’ campaign after the sexual assault of an eight-month-old baby in January. On Tuesday, male participants of the campaign walked the streets of the national capital wearing only shorts to send out the the message that ‘clothes do not cause rape, sick mentality does’.

delhi Updated: Mar 08, 2018 08:34 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rape Roko,Swati Maliwal,Crime against women
Body builders paint on their body to take part in ‘Rape Roko’ protest held by Delhi Women’s Commission on Tuesday in New Delhi.(Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) alleged on Wednesday that its chief Swati Maliwal was assaulted along with other representatives during a protest march as part of its campaign against rape.

The DCW had launched a ‘rape roko’ campaign after the sexual assault of an eight-month-old baby in January. On Tuesday, male participants of the campaign walked the streets of the national capital wearing only shorts to send out the the message that ‘clothes do not cause rape, sick mentality does’.

While Maliwal alleged that she sustained injuries, the police said that as per her medical examination carried out at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, no fresh external injuries were found.

The DCW said the campaigners marching towards the Prime Minister’s Office to submit 5.55 lakh letters, which it had received from across India as part of its campaign.

“Lakhs of people sent their requests to the prime minister in form of letters with great hopes. This is their ‘mann ki baat’ (wish). It is really sad that instead of respecting the will of the people, the letters were stepped upon and we were manhandled by the Delhi Police,” Maliwal said.

“Such acts shall not deter me or my team...I request our honorable prime minister to take immediate cognisance of these letters and ensure a strong system for giving death penalty to rapists of children within 6 months of the incident,” she said.

The Delhi Police said that DCW did not have permission to march towards the PMO but it later on ensured that the letters were submitted at the reception of the PMO.

Around 50 DCW volunteers and members marched towards Vijay Chowk in cars carrying banners, the police said.

“They did not have permission to go to the PMO. We also did not have any prior information about their arrival. They were stopped and requested to not proceed since Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in the area and Parliament was in session.

“They were not ready to listen. They were asked to move in a bus and detained,” deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said.

He said women protesters were escorted to the bus by women police personnel. “...But some volunteers were not ready to budge. Our police personnel sustained injuries while trying to escort them,” he added.

The protesters were demanding death penalty for rapists and completion of trials in case of sexual assault within six months. They also appealed to people to join the movement and reach Central Park in Connaught Place at 9.30 am on March 8 to form a peaceful human chain.

“I am walking half naked but society allows me to do so. If a girl walks in a sleeveless top, men leer at her. This is not right,” said Abhishek, a student of Delhi University, who goes by his first name.

The Indian Medical Association and the district court bar associations in Delhi have also extended their support to the campaign, the women’s panel said in a statement.

In a letter to the DCW chief, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had said, “We strongly support the people’s movement ‘Rape Roko’ launched by DCW chief to demand a robust criminal justice system which ensures cases of sexual crimes against women and children are tried by fast-track courts within six months and rapists of children are essentially accorded death penalty as a strong deterrent for others against such crimes”.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 21:43 IST