Being a policewoman is a challenging job, but girls should not shy away from joining the police force, says Pramila Padhi, the woman constable of Odisha Police who was badly beaten up by the protesters at the ‘Naveen Hatao, Odisha Bachao’ rally in Bhubaneswar on September 6.
Thirty-six-year-old Ms. Padhi is unable to use both her hands as a minor surgery has been performed on a finger in her right hand, and there are a few stitches on a wound on her left arm. Her left wrist is badly sprained.
Ms. Padhi has not suffered any internal injury, but experiences pain in her head just above the right ear. She is likely to be discharged from the hospital in a few days. She will take a few more weeks to return to work.
Recounting the traumatic moments, she says about 20 protesters assaulted her, beating her up with bamboo sticks before dragging her by her hair. “Some of the protesters tried their best to protect me and rescue me from the trouble spot,” she adds.
Along with another woman Sub-Inspector and a male police officer, she was giving cover to a woman Congress leader who had entered the crowd just before a clash broke out, and workers attempted to march towards the State Assembly.
Would she go to a similar rally if deployed in the future? Ms. Padhi says she would, to discharge her duties.
Joining the police in 1999, she has been able to deftly handle her duties as a policewoman and has enjoyed her husband’s cooperation. She and her husband, who works as a driver in a private university in Bhubaneswar, hail from Gajapati district in southern Odisha. Her only child, a 10-year-old boy, is a student in the fifth standard.
Ms. Padhi says that her tormentors should be punished according to law, but the police were yet to arrest anyone on the charge of attacking her. Video footage is being examined to identify the culprits.