Three women councillors in Bengaluru threaten to end lives
At BBMP council meet, the women protest inaction against an MLA whose men allegedly manhandled one of them
BENGALURU: Three female corporators protested against MLA Munirathna and threatened to commit suicide by drinking cleaning fluid at the BBMP council meet on Monday. It forced the Mayor to abruptly adjourn the session twice.
On May 19, Laggere ward corporator Manjula Narayanaswamy was allegedly manhandled by the supporters of MLA Munirathna Naidu after a function that the CM had also attended.During the session, the outcry against the incident intensified as Manjula and two other corporators — Mamatha Vasudev of BJP and Asha Suresh of Congress, with support from MLC T A Saravana — began a tirade demanding justice. They asked the Mayor why no action had been taken yet, repeatedly cutting off her attempts to reply.
Manjula alleged that they had all been harassed as numerous fake cases had been registered against them.
Mamatha said, “I was also manhandled on August 15, but no action was taken. The authorities in my ward don’t cooperate, I haven’t seen the AEE for six months now. Though I’ve complained to the Commissioner, no action has been taken. Even the police are working as bureaucrats.” The three women sat on the floor to protest against the issue.
The issue kept escalating, and the Mayor was forced to adjourn the session. When it started again, the Mayor tried to pacify the situation and asked for time until Saturday. As she was speaking to the JC of Rajarajeshwari Nagar, one of the women on the floor brought out three bottles of cleaning fluid and placed a bottle in front of each woman, in what was perceived as an attempt to commit suicide. Seeing this, other corporators rushed to them and snatched away the bottles, forcing the Mayor to abruptly terminate the session.
The three women then sat on the steps of the BBMP building as a protest, with other corporators and their supporters holding up pictures showing MLA Munirathna projected in unfavourable light, such as Dushasana from Mahabharata and Raavan from Ramayana.
Speaking to the media, they made serious allegations against Munirathna. They also alleged harassment and said they were stopped from carrying out work for the ward.MLA Munirathna, responding to the incidents later, termed the allegations false.
He said, “I am in no way related to whatever occurred during the event. Media footage of the incident is available, so it’s in front of everyone’s eyes. Let the law take its own course. Politicising the incident to blame me is uncalled for, and the issue has been blown out of proportion.”
On being asked if he personally knew the accused, he termed it immaterial and added even if they were his family members, they should be punished for it.
I am in no way related to whatever occurred during the event. Media footage of the incident is available, so it’s in front of everyone’s eyes. Let law take its course. Politicising the incident to blame me is uncalled for, and the issue has been blown out of proportion Munirathna, MLA