Usha Saxena, who along with her daughter and several other young men and women were detained and allegedly ill-treated by the police at the Parliament Street station here on Tuesday after they went to rescue those detained from the protest venue at Jantar Mantar, has written to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit narrating her ordeal.
Ms. Saxena has also lodged a complaint at the same station seeking action against the guilty policemen.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, she recounted the almost three-hour horror she, her daughter and several others were subjected to. However, the police have denied the charges.
“We were also detained on Humayun Road and kept at the Mandir Marg police station for six hours on December 24. My daughter Shambhavi and I, and a colleague of mine, Reema Ganguly, went to Jantar Mantar on December 25 to take part in a peaceful gathering there against the gang rape. Around 4 p.m. two girls came running to us in tears and said the police had dragged away their female friends to the Parliament Street police station… The three of us joined nine other women and we went there,” she said.
At the station, they saw a woman constable at the help-desk; the rest were male policemen. The group demanded immediate release of the detainees. “The policemen rudely and aggressively tried to chase us out. We refused to leave without those three women and so one male cop ordered some female cops to arrest all of us. We linked our arms and were being dragged away when I saw a female constable dragging a girl by her hair,” alleged Ms. Saxena, who works with a non-government organisation.
Ms. Saxena’s daughter Shambhavi, a student of the Lady Shri Ram College for Women and a volunteer activist with Greenpeace India, said: “I ran to help her, at which, a female cop started beating me. A male officer, who we later identified as the Station House Officer [SHO], pulled me by my hair and slammed my head against a wall.”
Her mother said that she then extricated herself, ran towards the girls and managed to get them away. “We were then pushed into a small room where we found four other women,” alleged Ms. Saxena in her complaint.
While they were locked up, Shambhavi kept updating her friends through her twitter account seeking help. However, she was accused by many on the social media as a liar.
“I was initially angry after being detained, but later it turned into fear,” said Shambhavi, a resident of neighbouring Gurgaon. Her mother said a woman from NGO Deep Jyoti finally met them and asked them to apologise and give their phone numbers and addresses to the police.
“We all collectively decided to give other names fearing what the police would do with our contact information.”
They were leaving the police station when they saw some cops rushing out demanding to know who Shambhavi was, as she was the one who had informed the media about the detention and ill-treatment meted out by the police.
Ms. Saxena alleged that late on Tuesday night, she received a call threatening to arrest her and her daughter if they did not tender an apology to the SHO.
Keywords: Parliament Street station, ill treatment, detainees, Jantar Mantar protest venue, Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, Humayun Road, Mandir Marg police station, NGO Deep Jyoti, Greenpeace India volunteer activist