The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) strongly condemns the brutality that women activists were meted out while they were protesting at Jantar Mantar on 19 June 2022 against the unjust Agnipath Scheme. This scheme announced by the Union Government will adversely impact national security and the future of our youth. Hence, youth all over the country are organising militant protests to demand the rollback of this dangerous scheme. 

The AIDWA unequivocally supports and expresses solidarity with all the countrywide protests demanding withdrawal of the Scheme.

On 19 June 2022, a similar protest was called by all democratic organisations at Jantar Mantar, where a large number citizens, including activists of DYFI and SFI were participating. Soon after the protest had started at about 12 PM, the Delhi Police started manhandling the activists forcing them to end the protest. Women activists were manhandled by male policemen, until they protested at this illegal behaviour of the Police. After 15 minutes, few police women were called to handle women activists, however by that time their clothes were already torn. 

After this action, eight women and several male activists including, Rajya Sabha MP and President of DYFI, A.A. Rahim, General Secretary of SFI Mayukh Biswas, Delhi State Secretary Pritish Menon and President of JNSU, Aishe Ghosh were detained. They were first taken to Dwarka Police Station and then sent to Mandir Marg police station, where men and women were kept in separate lock ups. The women were released at around 2 AM on 20 June 2022, whereas 33 male activists were released the following afternoon on bail.

It is reprehensible that, at the time of their release, they were charged under CrPC 107 and 151. They had to appear before the magistrate on 21 June 2022. When the activists asked for the case against to be dismissed, the women activists were told that they would have to sign a bond that they would not be part of any protests, for at least the next six months, if they wanted the case dismissed. This condition was rejected by our brave women comrades, and the next date was given for the case. 

It is disturbing that the magistrate repeatedly asked the activists whether their parents knew that they were wasting their time protesting, and why they did not confine their protests to the social media.

The AIDWA lauds the courage of these women comrades, and denounces the discriminatory treatment meted out to them by the lower courts and the Delhi Police. It also expressed strong protest against the attack on the citizens right to protest peacefully. Further the AIDWA demands the immediate withdrawal of cases against the women activists and action against the police personnel who misbehaved with women activists during protests. It urges all democratically minded citizens to rise against state repression and fight for the withdrawal of the Agnipath Scheme.