NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued a notice to the West Bengal government over alleged police assault on women protesters at a rally organised by the Left front last week.
The protesters, who were marching towards the state's administrative headquarters over issues such as agrarian distress, faced lathi charge, brick batting, tear gas and water cannons by male police officers, a complaint to the rights body said.
"The Commission has observed that the contents of the complaint, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the women protesters," the NHRC said.
Acting upon the complaint received, the Commission issued notices to West Bengal Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Kolkata Police Commissioner asking them to submit reports in this regard within four weeks.
Complainants Jagmati Sangwan of AIDWA, National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) General Secretary Annie Raja, and Sehba Farooqui (Secretary, Delhi JMS) also requested for an enquiry into the incident.
They alleged that no women police personnel were present to contain the protesters, which is against the Supreme Court guidelines.
"If the women protesters were attacked by the police force while protesting peacefully, it amounts to violation of their Fundamental Right to assemble peaceably and without arms as guaranteed under Article 19(1)(b) of the Constitution," the Commission said.