The Uttar Pradesh Police is facing flak for allegedly manhandling and beating two female students of Allahabad University, who waved black flags in front of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah's cavalcade in Allahabad, reportedly. A video of the incident has gone viral on social media.
On Friday, the BJP president was in Sangam city, where two female protesters along with a male protester were protesting against increasing number of crimes against women and deteriorating law and order in Uttar Pradesh. They waived black flags reportedly, standing in the middle of the road, and blocked a police vehicle. The protesters were also chanting slogan: 'Amit Shah Wapas Jao' (Amit Shah Go away!).
Neha Yadav (25), Rama Yadav (24), and Kishan Maurya (26) are the students of Allahabad University, who were allegedly beaten mercilessly after this incident, hundred meters away from Dhumanganj police station. While removing them from the spot where they were protesting, male cops manhandled the female protesters. According to the witnesses, police lifted Neha by her waist. They reportedly dragged her and beat her with a baton. Rama was forcefully pushed into a police vehicle, reportedly. Shah’s cavalcade moved on within seconds after the incident of manhandling.
There were almost forty vehicles in Shah’s cavalcade, including five police vehicles, but there was not even a single woman cop, who could have handled the female protesters, who were anyway protesting in a democratic manner.
Speaking to Newsclick, Shiv Yadav, a Ph.D. scholar from the university, who was among the other protesters at the spot, said, "We were protesting in a democratic manner. Neha and Rama showed black flag to Amit Shah. Instead of asking us about our concerns, they beat up the protesters mercilessly. Neha, Rama and Kishan were produced at the court, where court rejected our case, and sent them to Naini Central jail.”
He alleged that after arresting the three protesters, the police did not take them to the Dhumanganj police station, which was just hundred meter away from the spot. Instead, he said, they took them to an isolated place behind Subedarganj railway station and with the help of female cops, the police started beating them. Before producing at the court in the morning, they again took them to Asha Niketan and allegedly thrashed them.
All the protesters have been booked under IPC section 147 (rioting), 341(wrongful restraint), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment (blocking roads).
Former Allahabad University Students' Union President and Samajwadi Party leader Richa Singh condemned the incident. While speaking to Newsclick, she said, “Democracy is on the ventilator under the rule of the BJP, and this incident in Allahabad was an example. BJP happens to be the flag-bearer of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao(Save girl child, educate girls) campaign, but girls are unsafe under their rule only."
She further added that soon women from across the state along with party workers will protest against the brutality against the students.
When asked whether there was a female cop, Singh replied, “This is how Modi government is working towards upliftment of women in the country. They have actually changed the definition of democracy."
Akhilesh Gupta, a student and the Samajwadi Party student wing President of Allahabad University was also detained by the police along with five others, but later they were released.