Viral photo of cop holding a woman protester inappropriately draws criticism
The protest was organised by Samajwadi Chatra Sabha, the students’ wing of the Samajwadi Party, near Lucknow University on September 17Updated: Sep 21, 2020, 17:27 IST
A photograph purportedly showing a woman protester being held by a policeman in an inappropriate manner during a recent protest by young unemployed men and women in Lucknow has provoked outrage after it went viral.
The protest was organised by Samajwadi Chatra Sabha, the students’ wing of the Samajwadi Party, near Lucknow University on September 17. HT could not independently verify the veracity of the picture.
“This picture is so disturbing and violative of all decency in a democracy. This is extremely shameful and unacceptable,” said Nishi Pandey, a Lucknow University professor.
“To protest is a democratic right. We do not deserve this manhandling. For student protests, police should be prepared for the presence of girl students and woman police personnel should be deployed. In no circumstances should policemen physically handle women protesters.”
Rajesh Kumar Srivastav, an additional deputy police commissioner, said they have come to know about the picture and the matter is being looked into. “If anyone was harassed by anyone, the person is free to approach the police and lodge a complaint.”
Rakesh Chandra, a philosophy professor at the university, said schoolchildren are now being made aware of good and bad touch and gender sensitisation has also been a part of the training of the police force for over a decade. “Restrain and propriety are to be displayed by all state functionaries even under strong provocation.”
He said the absence of policewomen and physical lifting of the woman by a policeman is disturbing. “Where are the women police?”
Sheela Mishra, the chairperson of the University’s Internal Complaint Committee, said it is shameful to see any woman being manhandled and abused in this manner. “Women must always be handled in a dignified manner even during protests and that too by women cops. There should be zero tolerance towards any kind of harassment towards women.”