Couples thrashed for sitting in a park in Meerut, India
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Protests erupted on Wednesday in Meerut, north-east of New Delhi, as scenes of female cops beating and pulling the hair of young couples in a local park were telecasted on news channels.
People crowded the streets to protest against the actions which the local police termed as law enforcement.
'Operation Majnu' as it was termed was aimed at breaking up frolicking couples at Company Gardens on Monday afternoon. Chief of Police Meerut said that the police entrusted to enforce a drive against obscenity had clearly gone overboard.
Two policewomen have been suspended and an internal inquiry has been ordered. The two were named as Inspector Madhu Malati and sub-inspector Mamata Gautam who were most active in the physical assault carried out on the women.
The targets of the assault were not satisfied. One of the women, aged 25, was taking a walk in the park with her brother when Inspector Madhu Malati descended on her calling her a whore and beating her up. Priyanka was kicked in the chest and slapped numerous times on her face just like dozens of other women who, after being beaten up were dragged to vehicles waiting to take them to the police station where their parents were called. They were later released after warnings.
Students spilled onto the streets of Meerut shouting "Down with Police Dictatorship" and set fire to effigies of cops.
After the public humilation of being beaten up, abused and dragged to the police station to make statements, several couples did not make their way back home and are still reported to be missing.
Members of Parliament said this was the sign of a sick mind. News reports have quoted the Meerut Police range DIG as admitting to extreme and excessive treament by the police in Operation Majnu carried out in the company gardens on Monday.
One angry student protester said that this is a sign of hypocrisy and that India cannot be the country with the second largest population in the world if people sitting together in this country is such a sin.
- "Women cops' action sparks controversy" — Chennai Online, December 21, 2005