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Intimidation of Gayathri Srikanth by the Puducherry Police for supporting a woman subjected to police abuse

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WHRD Gayathri Srikanth

Puducherry

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on November 15, 2021, regarding the intimidation of WHRD Ms. Gayathri Srikanth by the Puducherry Police for conducting a fact-finding and supporting a woman who was facing abuse by the police.

Ms. Gayathri Srikanth is a teacher, writer, and women's rights activist. 

On August 09, 2021, a women victim went to the Lawspet Police Station for registering an FIR against her husband for domestic violence. At that time, Mr. Shanmugam, a police constable, harassed her by describing her physical appearance and asked her to give him an oil massage in return for helping her get a lawyer for her case.

After this incident, the victim went to Ms. Gayathri Srikanth and told her about the incident. Ms. Srikanth suggest collecting evidence against the police constable, therefore, she instructed the victim to call Mr. Shanmugam and record all the conversation. Ms. Srikanth called the police station to take strong action against him as she has evidence but no action was taken against him, and he was transferred to the armed forces dept on August 12, 2021.

On August 16, 2021, the woman victim registered an FIR in the Lawspet police station against Mr. Shanmugam for harassment. Mr. Shanmugam called both the victim and Ms. Srikanth over the phone and threatened them repeatedly including in social media and WhatsApp. 

Ms. Srikanth and the victim filed an email complaint to the cybercrime police at Puducherry against Mr. Shanmugam. As a result, he was suspended but no FIR was registered against him under article 66 (A) of the IT Act, her complaint had been closed. Then Ms. Srikanth wrote a letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Puducherry, asking for his help as there was no FIR filed by the cyber police on the incident but did not receive any reply.

We believe that this is kind of behavior and action against women by a policeman strongly violates IPC section 509, Section 67 of the Information Technology Act along with Article 9 (3)(c) of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and fundamental rights under Article 9 (2) and Article 9 (3)(a) of the Indian Constitution. 

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