Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy allegedly hit a woman home guard when her fellow Congress party workers were stopped on their way to the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday.
Footage released by a private news channel showed Sowmya hitting the hand of the home guard. The MLA had been part of the crowd that gathered to protest against farm laws.
As a group of Congresswomen headed towards the Raj Bahaman, police stopped them. Sowmya hit the home guard and shouted at her. She later complained against the guard to the higher-ups. After the media highlighted her action, Sowmya petitioned city police commissioner Kamal Pant at his office, asking the police to handle women MLAs and others properly during public events.
Speaking to reporters, Sowmya said that around 20 police staff pulled her, and she fell down. She felt giddy since she did not drink water for hours. Police were asking her to get into the vehicle as they were making preventive arrests, she said.
“I asked them not to touch me, but they shouted at me and said they are saying this for my own good,” Sowmya said. “I didn’t assault any police. I was only trying to push them when they touched me. They pulled my sari and hair. A male police officer used abusive language at the same time. The commissioner told me these things happen during protests.”
Sowmya, however, said she did not want to escalate the issue. When DH contacted Pant about Soumya’s alleged assault of the home guard, he said police would investigate that aspect. He also said Sowmya gave him an application about the incident.
Congress MLA from Khanapur, Belagavi district, Dr Anjali Nimbalkar, who took part in the protest rally, collapsed on the way to the Raj Bhavan. Women police constables attended to her, gave her water and took her to a private hospital for further treatment.
Dr Nimbalkar said she had fainted due to dehydration and breathlessness but was fine and had returned home.
Panic gripped the protest rally when a Congress worker drove a party vehicle into the protest venue and allegedly tried to run over police personnel when they sought to stop him. Police later reined him in.
Congress party workers also removed the barricades that were set up by the police on Palace Road near Maharani’s College to prevent them from marching towards the Raj Bhavan. Police later detained all the protesting Congress workers for defying the orders.