Indian woman’s clothes ripped off by police as she protested against sexual harassment
Sheena Thakur, a sociology student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India was protesting against a sexual harasser on the loose in their campus when Delhi police officers harassed her in return.
The incident was documented by Thakur, and was eventually uploaded on her Facebook account last March 24, where it amassed thousands of reactions and support from netizens the world over.
“Yesterday we witnessed how the Delhi police handles peaceful protesters shouting slogans against a sexual [harasser] on the loose in our campus,” wrote Thakur. “I was in the crowd trying to help someone who was being beaten up by the police when 8-10 policewomen grabbed hold of me and showered me with punches.”
The police women were unsuccessful in trying to contain Thakur and resorted to ripping her clothes off her. “When they failed to bring me down one of them said ‘Kapde phado iske’ and all these women went ahead to rip off my clothes. At this point I pushed this away and climbed up to the bus stop where four lovely women came to help me.”
Thakur expressed she was initially near tears, but was consumed by rage when she realized these police officers, who were women like her, continued to attack not her, but her clothes in the wildest way imaginable.
“Before we could realize what happened we were pushed through the barricades where [by the way] they tried to clothe me. I refused to do so and made sure they saw what they had just done — stripped a woman for shouting slogans against sexual harassment.”
Thakur also mentioned that being groped by male police officers happens every time, but also lamentable is the fact of how nasty things can get in a matter of seconds, when the police participate in cruel acts because of orders from senior officials.
“I feel it’s very violent for the police as well that they have to beat up people, strip women as a part of their job,” added Thakur. “In the police station they had a variety of clothes for us to choose from a pile of clean white decathlon t-shirts and bright festive kurtas. Clearly this is something they do very often that they are so well prepared for it.”
After being sexually harassed by police officers for speaking out against sexual harassment, Thakur urgently shared in her latest update that she and the other protesters with her are now facing arrest: “A case of rioting with deadly weapons and outraging the modesty of women has been registered against us!”
The video of Thakur being harassed by a group of police women may be viewed below. JB