Cases against 29 for shoving off woman from CAA meet

Offence against her clear from the video, say police

The North police have registered cases against 29 persons, mostly Sangh Parivar workers, on a petition filed by the woman who was shoved off while being rained with communal remarks from the venue of a symposium for women on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) organised by a Sangh Parivar outfit at the Pavakkulam Temple auditorium on Tuesday.

The woman, identified as Athira from Thiruvananthapuram, had lodged the petition on Thursday after a video of the incident went viral.

The police registered cases invoking IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting) and 149 (every member who is part of an unlawful assembly is guilty of the offence committed in prosecution of the common object).

“The offence against the woman is pretty much proven by that video, which, after being scientifically examined, could be produced as evidence,” said police sources.

Initially, the police had summoned the woman and registered a case against her under IPC Sections 447 (criminal trespass) and 294 (b) (sings, recites, or utters any obscene song, ballad, or words, in or near any public place) after C.V. Sajini, secretary of the industrial cell of the BJP and a speaker at the symposium, lodged a petition against her and produced a few photographs as evidence. The woman, however, did not file a petition then. The police said neither were they aware of the treatment meted out to her at the venue till the video emerged. “As soon as the video emerged, we contacted her and asked why she didn’t tell us about the objectionable treatment, to which she said she didn’t want to create more problems. She asked for time to think about filing a petition and later decided to lodge one, following which her statement was recorded at her hostel,” police sources said.

According to the police, simply registering a First Information Report (FIR) against her does not make her guilty, but the offence has to be proved. The police may have to look into the ownership documents of the venue to verify whether the charge of criminal trespass will stand legal scrutiny since anyone can walk into a meeting held at a public space.

The charge under Section 294 (b) also remains to be proved since the video does not show her mouthing obscenities or abuse unlike the objectionable treatment meted out to her, which is very evident.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 11:04:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/cases-against-29-for-shoving-off-woman-from-caa-meet/article30648005.ece

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