Raising the issue of alleged police action against women protesting against unauthorised power meters in Gujarat, a Union Minister has asked the National Commission for Women to intervene.
"I am pained to bring to your kind notice the atrocious behaviour of Collector, Vyara, Government of Gujarat, who ordered lathi charge on peaceful women demonstrators raising their legitimate demands of unauthorised disconnection of electricity meter," Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Tushar A Chaudhary said in a letter to Mamta Sharma, Chairperson, NCW.
Vyara, under the Bardoli constituency, is a tribal area. The minister, who led the "peaceful" protesters, alleged that the basic needs of these tribals are ignored by Gujarat government.
The central Government sponsored scheme called Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana is executed by the state government. The scheme provides for free of cost electricity connection to all rural household and tribals living Below the Poverty Line (BPL).
The scheme also lays special emphasis on sustainability of rural supply through collection of the cost of electricity from the beneficiaries.
"A peaceful demonstration of over 20,000 people was led by me mostly of tribal women demanding restoration of electricity connection and for this purpose they wanted to hand over a list of memorandum to the Collector," he said.
He said that the women demonstrators requested the Collector to accept the memorandum but claimed atht instead of accepting it, the official ordered lathicharge on tribal women demonstrators resulting into injuries to several women.