Bengaluru: Asha worker on COVID-19 duty, attacked

Last Updated 02 April 2020, 19:18 IST

An Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker, while carrying out a surveillance work following a report of COVID-19 case, was allegedly manhandled by a group of 40-50 people in Sadiq Nagar of Sarayipalya, Bengaluru.

The incident happened on Wednesday evening and came to light on Thursday morning as a mobile video of the incident went viral.

ASHA worker Krishnaveni, along with other staffers, had been to Sadiq Nagar for field surveillance after a domestic maid in the area tested positive for COVID-19. The workers were checking if any of the residents had symptoms like fever, cough or cold by visiting every household and taking down the names and mobile numbers of the occupants. The workers, it is said, were also checking if anyone from the locality attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi.

According to Krishnaveni, a group of 40 to 50 persons belonging to a minority community surrounded her and took objections to her work in the locality. In her statement to media persons, Krishnaveni said that she was wrongfully restrained by a huge crowd of minority community members.

“They manhandled me and told me that I should not inquire anyone about the COVID-19 symptoms. They even shouted that they will die of COVID-19 and I should not be worried. They even snatched documents pertaining to surveillance work, mobile phones and other valuables,” she told media persons.

She further alleged that there was an announcement made in the mike in a prayer hall of the community stating no one should entertain health workers. Only after Krishnaveni tipped off the police about the incident, a Hoysala patrolling vehicle was sent to the spot and police personnel released her from the mob.

On Thursday afternoon the Hennur police have registered case against the mob under IPC Sections 353, 188, 504, 143 and 149.

S D Sharanappa, DCP (East) said, “We have registered a case in Hennur police station based on the complaint filed by the senior health inspector Muniraju. Three persons have been detained and are being questioned, efforts are on to detain others involved.”

KSWC takes suo motu case

Condemning the incident Karnataka State Women’s Commission chairperson Prameela Naidu told reporters that the commission had taken a suo motu case on the incident.

Police protection sought

Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) union has condemned the attack on these workers and have demanded for police protection to discharge their duties.

The Karnataka Asha Workers Union had a discussion over the phone with the minister for health and family welfare and sought police protection to ensure that such attacks do not happen in future.

The Karnataka Rajya Samyuktha ASHA Karyakartheyara Sangha condemned this incident. In a statement, they said that people belonging to all communities need to recognize and rather stand in support of such impersonal workers by providing them with the needed data and information for their own well being

(Published 02 April 2020, 17:26 IST)

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