A college student who was allegedly detained at Parliament Street police station on Tuesday, took on the cops for harassment on Wednesday.
Shambhavi claimed that after she was released by police she received a call around 10.30pm from a board number of Parliament Street police station threatening her to come and apologize for protesting and tweeting online or face arrest.
“I was at Jantar Mantar with my mother to support the protests. We got to know around 4.30pm that some women protesters were detained because they tried to march outside Jantar Mantar. When we came to the police station to help these protesters, I was detained, too. I tweeted several times about what was happening here. Other protesters were badly beaten up by women cops. A male cop banged my neck and shoulders against the wall. I was released later in the evening,” Shambhavi said.
But her mother, Usha, got a call from a board number: 011-23361100, which is reportedly the number of Parliament Street police station. “A male voice said we should immediately come to the police station and submit a written apology for tweeting or my daughter will be arrested. Even though the person said that he was an NGO worker, the board number belonged to the police station. I was extremely worried and got in touch with women’s activists for advice,” Usha said.
On Wednesday, women’s rights activist Kavita Krishnan, along with Usha, Shambhavi and Reema, went to the police station to confront the ACP, J S Malik, about the call. However, Malik asked Shambhavi and the rest to submit the complaint in writing.
Usha submitted the complaint and also identified the cop, inspector Dinesh Kumar, who was allegedly beating up the women.
“Do they want to do a rerun of the Palghar arrests in which two girls were harassed for using a social networking site to express their opinions? I am appalled by the fact that, given the atmosphere, cops are still daring to harass women for protesting peacefully,” Krishnan said. She has also sent mails regarding the matter to the chief minister and minister of state for home, RPN Singh.
The other 16 girls, many of whom are teenagers who were allegedly detained on Tuesday, did not complain or come to the police station on Wednesday. Shambhavi uses the Twitter handle ‘shamwoo‘.