HC censures police for caning women during PF protest

HC censures police for caning women during PF protest

HC censures police for caning women during PF protest

 The High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the police department for its inability to handle the agitation caused by thousands of garment workers across the City and parts of the state.

Justice A N Venugopala Gowda said, “Is there any provision under the law for policemen to lathi charge women protestors, isn’t this against the law?” The reason for the collapse of law and order and subsequent traffic jam is the 25% vacancies in the police department which are yet to be filled, the bench observed.

Life and liberty

The bench, citing the agitation caused by garment factory workers on April 18 and 19, said, “Life and liberty of the citizens is the paramount responsibility of the government. But here, innocent lives were affected and public properties were damaged due to this. How do we safeguard these things and who has to be held responsible for such a situation? I think the police intelligence has completely failed to even get a hint of the protest of this magnitude and there seems to be a huge gap between the intelligence and the state government. There is a need to fill the vacancies in the intelligence wing first”.

The bench said that the state government has not learnt any lessons from the previous incidents of protests and agitations.

Justice Gowda said that there is 33% reservation for women police in the department and there are a huge number of posts vacant for women officers and constables.

There are many issues related to women, where there is a need for women officers and women police, but this basic need is not fulfilled, the court observed. He said there is huge lacuna in the infrastructure of the department and the amount collected as taxes should be used to improve these requirements.

The bench said that the training and recruitment wing had made certain assurances to the court about filling up the vacancies, which have not been fulfilled till date. There are 230 cases under investigation in Mysuru and 678 in Mangaluru since June 30, 2015 and 32% and 33% posts are vacant in the department in the respective districts.

The bench directed the police commissioners of both the cities to hold a review meeting within four weeks about solving the pending cases and file a status report in six weeks.

Justice Gowda passed an order directing the DG&IGP to hold a meeting with the ADGP (Recruitment and Training) by April 22 and to file an affidavit in the next hearing on April 23 on how they would take steps to fill the vacant posts, on handling the pending cases of investigation before various courts and to improve the infrastructure of the department.   

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