Saturday, September 8, 2012

Why is it needed to sensitize Police force on how to behave with females visiting them, Of injustice, and power, and manhood : Guest Post By Joanna Banerjee a Young Girl Bangal O Red Face BangalORED Justice For Women

                     A Week Back I had asked people, if they wanted to write a guest post on my Blog!!! Today, the initiation came, because a young girl, and her colleague male friend, was harassed, by 3 officials of Karnataka Police. Now I asked her to let me copy, and the I will take up on twitter. I did, and again, it is a BIG WIN, for twitter and the twitterrers, the note with 12 likes and 15 shares has now around 613 shares  & 354 likes. Media was sensitized, and her case will be taken up, There is no word altered from Joanna's note and this blog,I admire the courageous step taken by Joanna Banerjee, of articulating the issue and putting it on public domain.

                       But here I ask a simple question Read THIS, The Fundamental Rights & Duties, whose job is it to ensure it? Police and courts, my question to you is, do they do it , I am not judgmental, but please let me know. Thank You
Source of this Post is 
IF I have modified anything here
Of injustice, and power, and manhood : 
Guest Post By Joanna Banerjee a Young Girl Bangal O Red Face BangalORED 
Images are kept to keep you entertained
not part of Joanna's Note
Luckily, There is no cartoon by any cartoonist
Portraying a Policeman's Outrageous Behaviour towards women

I get it. I’m an outsider. Just like the 5000 “North Eastern people” who fled Bangalore, I am a Bengali, and might need to flee. And for a person like me, this realization is as good as murder.
I’m writing this on a Friday morning, it happened on Wednesday night, September 5, 2012. Too shocked, scared and humiliated to articulate the incident before, I think it’s time the truth saw the light of day.
Wednesday night, my friend and me and our new colleague, who got his first salary, was happy. The new guy took us out. We ate, talked, bonded, and of course, had a drink. On our way back, my friend and me were stopped at 12 pm at a check post for drunken driving. My friend was drunk. He had consumed alcohol and deserved to be stopped. Being the conscientious Bengali that he is, without any attempt to bribe the policeman, offered to pay the legal fine and get his bike back. While I quietly waited in the corner for a quick resolution to the problem, I was expecting to see my friend get a receipt for his fine and leave. I’d go home, sleep and get back to work the next morning.
That was not to be. First, on being asked for his license, of the 3 policeman involved, Sub Inspector Govindappa of Shivajinagar Traffic Police Station, Bangalore (he refused to tell me his full name) and his badge was hidden behind a clever jacket, said the driving license was invalid. Why? Because it was a “Bengal license”. “ye nahi chalega, yeh bangal ka license yaha nahi chalta hai. Yaha Karnataka aur international driving license chalta hai”. (This Bengal license is not valid here. Only Karnataka and international driving licenses are valid).
It is at this point that I, “ek ladki” (a girl) got involved. I have a West Bengal driving license myself and know fully well that Govindappa was in the wrong. I told him he was, while my friend was still, in futility, explaining to him how the said license was valid and authentic.
Next. My friend, by now, harassed, angry and helpless, lit a cigarette. On a long pavement that stretched endlessly, he chose a quiet corner, not entirely out of sight of the policemen. This is when Hitendra M.S. (Sub Inspector, Shivajinagar Traffic Police Station) showed how he is the “boss”. Shoving my friend he demanded the cigarette be stubbed. My friend asked why, and that it was not an offence, especially when there were other people around there doing the same. I could have tried to describe the aggression, the disrespect and the vulgar show of power this man was showing with every gesture, but I think words will only fail at their job.

Feeling every bit of the humiliation that my friend did, I chose to talk. Tell Hitendra that he could not be behaving like that. I raised my voice and before I knew it, he was warning my friend about how I should not dare to tell him anything because, “ladki haiIsko bol baat nahin karegi”. “(She’s a girl, ask her not to talk”. At this point, my friend outraged to the point of confrontation told him to stop involving me… this sentence remains unfinished because that is how it was. Before my friend could say a few things in my honour, he was hit. On the head, his face, his already broken jaw. Hitendra M.S., then R.T. Raju (Head Constable, Shivajinagar Traffic Police Station), then Govindappa and then, to my utter shock, some stray civilians. I call them civilians because they were not in uniform. I have no idea what kind of a nexus they are in with the police.

Blinded with rage, I tried to stop the policemen. I mean, they were traffic police; they do not have the authority to assault. At which point, all three of them and more, turned all their attention from my friend to me. Shouting abuses like “benchod” and “bhonsdike” (both very popular “north Indian” abuses”) they had their hands in the air, ready to strike the daylights out of me.

No female police officers, no offense, just power. Naked, routine, ugly. Power. They tripped on power.
7 hours and 3 police stations and many, many policemen later, we could not get a complaint written. 4 hours after the incident, we were handed a report written in Kannada (a language both my friend and me do not know) and asked to sign. When we refused, we were forcefully put in a jeep and taken to a hospital. It is only then, from the hospital in-charge, a retired Army doctor that we found what was in the report. It was a charge on me. For, “causing nuisance under the influence of alcohol.” I did not understand. What? I was the pillion rider, I was assaulted, and I went to them to file a complaint against their fellow policeman. How could I be the defendant in a potential case when I was the complainant?
It was true. That is how it had turned out to be. And I was told to make a choice. Either my friend and me gave them blood and urine samples which would prove we had consumed alcohol, a legal substance (we were told by the doctor that it didn’t matter. Drugs and alcohol were treated the same way) and be sure of being taken into judicial custody and eventually to conviction because the doctor was convinced the policemen were using our blood and urine test reports to defend themselves and that they were right.
Defend against what? I could not get a complaint written in the first place. Or, the other option was to drop charges, write an “apology” letter for creating nuisance and save our asses. I cried a little, at the gross injustice I thought we were treated with. But we chose to save our behinds. Right there, then, under pressure, fighting “them” instead of having “them” fight us… I chose to “apologize”.

We were taken back to the police station. I minced some words and wrote two lines of a twisted apology, thank god I write for a living. At least, I didn’t have to rape my conscience a second time in a single night.
This morning, Friday, September 07, 2012, my friend went back to the Shivajinagar Traffic Police Station to pay his fine and get his bike back. For the second time. Yesterday afternoon he was sent back because Hitendra wasn’t in. And my friend was not given a receipt with which he could get it back.
Hitendra made him wait. A long time. And in full view of the rest of the officers in the police station asked him about “woh ladki” (that girl)”. Told him “uske jaisa bees ladki mai palta hoon” (I have 20 mistresses like her). And that he was doing my friend a favour by returning his bike with just Rs.1,500 fine (for which my friend did not receive a receipt) and that they have so much power that they could have shot us then and there. I’m sure he could have.

So. However lackluster it may sound, it ultimately boils down to men, power, oppressed women, harassed civilians, regionalism, and the powerful men made to feel more powerful with a gun and a few women in their bed. We’ve all heard this before.
And I’m almost certain I’m writing this in futility. But I’m still writing this because you know how we are… We hate this country, but we love this country.
Jai Hind.

No comments:

Post a Comment