Women’s groups, political party lend support
Traffic warden Padmini, who has been staging a protest against her exclusion from the job list of traffic wardens in the city, ended her protest on Thursday after she was promised her job back.
Ms. Padmini had earlier alleged that she was removed from the job as she had complained against a man who allegedly attacked her while she was on duty.
She held discussions with police officials and her employers all through the day on Thursday. “The Home Minister and the Ernakulam Range Inspector General of Police spoke to the City Police Commissioner and they discussed the matter with the contractors of the Kochi Metro Rail. They have agreed to take me back,” Ms. Padmini said.
Earlier in the day, Ms. Padmini staged a sit-in in front of the Edappally Traffic East police station. She held talks with the Assistant Commissioner of Police soon after. Around 3 p.m., she moved her protest to outside the office of the Police Commissioner near Marine Drive. She was joined in her protest by members of women’s groups and even a political party. Neither Commissioner K.G. James, nor Deputy Commissioner of Police R. Nishanthini was in the building at the time Ms. Padmini began her protest.
She later held talks with other police officials in the evening. Ms. Padmini told reporters that she had been assured that she would be taken back as a traffic warden. More drama followed later in the evening after she said that officials had backtracked on their word. After 8.30 p.m., she confirmed that she had been offered her job back. “I will be going to the offices of the Kochi Metro Rail contractors on Friday,” she said.
Mr. James said that the police had played no role in Ms. Padmini being removed from the force. “We did not hire her and so, we had no role in her dismissal either. She is an employee of the contractors of Kochi Metro Rail. The agency hired a group of traffic wardens to control traffic situations arising during the metro work,” he said. Mr. James said the police had spoken to the contractors asking them to hire Ms. Padmini again.