Specially-abled persons lathicharged by police

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 26 February 2019

“The protesters are demanding that government should publish a notification, which will assure that their demands will be met. The protesters are demanding new technical institutions for specially abled persons so that they get benefits of jobs in different organisations.” added Yevale.

PUNE: A protest of around 2,000 specially-abled persons outside the Disability Commissioner’s Office turned violent and police had to resort to mild lathicharge to disburse the mob.

Although police officials have denied any lathicharge, a video of police officials hurling sticks on the specially-abled persons went viral in social media on Monday afternoon.

The specially-abled persons had gathered outside the Disability Commissioner’s Office on Church Road near Pune station and were protesting for their demands, which are yet to be met by the government.

Speaking about their demands, the specially-abled persons’ representative Sharmila Yevale said that they had met Chief  Minister Devendra Fadnavis but their demands were yet to be met.

“The protesters are demanding that government should publish a notification, which will assure that their demands will be met. The protesters are demanding new technical institutions for specially abled persons so that they get benefits of jobs in different organisations. The protesters are demanding that such institutions should impart knowledge in sign languages, which will help them learn and improve their skill set,” added Yevale.

An official from the Disability Commissioner’s Office, who accepted the letter of demands of the protester, said that the protest started at around 9 am.

“Although we have accepted the demand letter, we have to depend on others so that these persons demands are met. For instance, the specially-abled persons want technical education, but when we approached a few institutes, they told us that most of the specially-abled persons are opting out of maths and science from their course, which is a challenge for them in further pursuing technical courses. SPPU is working on designing courses for them, but it is in pipeline,” added the official.

Speaking about the lathicharge incident, Police Inspector M Mujawar of Bund Garden Police Station said that the protest was silent in the morning but few hours later, the protesters held a rally. “The protesters had not asked permission for the rally and we tried to stop them. We had to detain some girls and boys to disperse the mob. In afternoon, as the road is quite narrow, there was a stampede-like situation and we had to act immediately. We did not resort to any lathicharge, we had to take control of the situation and a large force was deployed. Some police officials and some protesters were injured during the incident,” added Mujawar.

The injured persons were taken to Sassoon General Hospital for treatment. The protesters continued their protest till Monday evening. Speaking about the lathicharge, Yevale said that the protesters were annoyed by the police’s behavior. “Police officials are claiming that there was some misunderstanding, which led to the lathicharge, but that is not the case.Police officials wanted to disburse the mob and so resorted to lathicharge” said Yevale.

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