Ms Swati Maliwal,
Delhi Commission for Women
Govt. of National Capital Territory of Delhi
C-Block, 2nd Floor,
Vikas Bhawan I. P. Estate,
New Delhi 110002
14th December 2015
Subject: Request for inquiry into allegation of molestation and sexual assault by Delhi Police on women students of Occupy UGC protest on 9th December 2015
On 9th December 2015, when scores of students belonging to the “Occupy UGC” protest were marching towards the Parliament, the police lathicharged, water cannoned and tear-gassed them near Le Meridian Hotel. A large number of students were detained in the Parliament House Police Station and several sustained injuries for which they had to be treated in Ram Manohar Hospital. PUDR condemned the incident as well as the past attacks on students in October 2015 and demanded action against the guilty policemen (see: www.pudr.org; December 11, 2015 and November 2, 2015).
What has also come to light is that on 9th December, several women protesters were allegedly manhandled by male policemen. According to women students, the lathicharge was sexually motivated as they were physically groped and molested by male personnel. These students have alleged that their clothes were torn and that they were dragged by their hair. They have also stated that policemen told them that they would be ‘punished’ in a similar manner if they continued with their protest. They have particularly named SHO, Yashpal, Ashok Kumar, Amar Singh, Raj Kumar and Vivek Huda as the guilty policemen.
Sexual harassment of women protesters by police personnel is a very serious offence and strict action must be taken against those found guilty. Since the police has claimed that they were attacked by the students, it is obvious that the issue of sexual offence will never be accepted by them. PUDR requests you to conduct an impartial inquiry into the incident and also hopes that strict action will be taken against those found guilty.
Megha Bahl and Sharmila Purkayastha