Women activists allege police manhandling

The march was in opposition to the Centre's decision to cut food subsidy by reducing wheat, rice supply.

delhi Updated: Jan 07, 2006 21:56 IST

Activists of National Federation of Indian Women, a Left-leaning outfit, has accused the police of "manhandling" them while they were taking out a protest march, a charge strongly denied by the Delhi Police.

Around 40 members of the outfit were marching towards the Prime Minister's residence to submit a memorandum opposing the Centre's decision to effect a cut in food subsidy and reduce wheat and rice supply through the Public Distribution System.

The activists were stopped by the police near Sena Bhawan and a minor scuffle ensued when they insisted on moving ahead to the Prime Minister's residence.

The Federation members alleged that police had "roughed up" many of the activists injuring three, including the outfit's General Secretary and CPI leader Annie Raja.

"They actually kicked many of us. There was no provocation from our part. Many of us suffered cuts and bruises," Federation Secretary Krishna Majumdar said.

She also claimed there were "very few" women police personnel at the time of the incident.

The activists were later arrested and taken to the Chanakyapuri police station.

The police, however, denied the allegations and said that the outfit took out the march without permission, which was necessary as per Article 144 that was enforced in that area.

They said the protestors were "hell-bent" on moving forward to the Prime Minister's residence, which cannot be allowed, and denied any use of force.

First Published: Jan 07, 2006 19:30 IST