BENGALURU: In what appears to be police high-handedness, sex workers around Majestic area were allegedly beaten up and illegally detained by Upparpet police on Wednesday night. This was allegedly conducted under the supervision of DCP (West) Ravi D Channannanavar.
According to Karnataka Sex Workers Union, 23 sex workers were picked up by the cops of KSRTC police outpost at Majestic around 11pm. They were allegedly beaten up and abused in public, and then detained in the police station for three hours — until lawyers turned up and got them released.The union has alleged that DCP (West) Channannanavar kept abusing women, and said that he wanted a “clean Majestic”. The women were terrified that they would be sent to jail and separated from their families.
Channannanavar has refuted the allegations, saying media persons were present when they were brought to the police station. “Nobody assaulted or abused them. We understand their problems and we have done meetings with the union. We will take stern action against those who spread false news that police assaulted and abused them,” Channannanavar told The New Indian Express.
Accusing the police of high-handedness, members of the state sex workers’ union have alleged that Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravi D Channannanavar’s actions were not only illegal, but also showed his complete insensitivity and inhumanity towards women. “Women are not dirt, to be ‘cleaned out of Majestic’,” the union members said.
Haseena, a member of Karnataka Sex Workers’ Union, said, “We were mercilessly assaulted and abused by the cops. In fact, the police misbehaved with us on Thursday morning as well. They spoke in such bad language. They (the police) called media persons and were trying to expose our faces in front of the cameras. Families of many of us don’t know we are into this profession. They wanted to show us in bad light,” she said. “There were three women cops, but still the male police personnel threatened us and misbehaved with us,” she added.
The sex workers’ union members feel what mattered was the violation of human rights in being forcibly rounded up and humiliated and allegedly beaten up before being detained till the wee hours if Thursday. The union, along with Alternative Law Forum, met in the latter’s office on Infantry Road on Thursday afternoon to discuss the issue. Both the union and ALF refrained from divulging any information after the meeting.
Sources said the union has decided to meet Home minister Ramalinga Reddy and submit a memorandum to protect them from the alleged atrocities.
POLICE CHIEF NOT AWARE OF IT
Bengaluru City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said he was not aware about the incident. “I will enquire with the officers about the incident and will respond,” he said.