Solidarity March: Justice for sex worker Mothers
Women’s groups and progressive organisations in India are shocked that Ms. Anu Mokal, a pregnant sex worker in Satara, was beaten up by police inspector Dayanand Dhome on April 2, along with her friend Ms. Anjana Ghadge. Three days later, on 5th April, she suffered a miscarriage. The incident occurred on 2nd April 2012, around 7.30 pm, when Anu Mokal, who was four months pregnant, and Anjana Ghadge were bringing dinner for their friend who was admitted in the civil hospital. Near the Satara bus stand area, senior Police Inspector Dayanand Dhome accused them of soliciting and when they refuted it abused them and called them liars. Dhome and his subordinates started beating Anu and her friend Anjana. Dhome repeatedly kicked them and said that women like Anu are a ‘shame’. Her pleas that she was four months pregnant fell on deaf ears. Anu and Anjana were detained and put in a lockup. They were eventually released on April 3.
On the following day they were produced before the magistrate and were released after a payment of Rs 1200 fine for soliciting [which they were not doing at that time]. They were taken to the civil hospital by members of Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad [VAMP] an organisation that works among sex workers and Anu received medication. Anu has alleged that Mr. Dhome kicked her because of which she fell down and suffered a miscarriage. Anu has reportedly said that she was going to a hospital to meet her friend, when Mr. Dhome abused her and beat her up, calling women like her a “shame.” Women’s organisations are outraged that even after one month no action has been taken against the policemen who brutally assaulted Anu Mokle.
Anu has filed a complaint against Inspector Dhome and his colleagues with the Satara Superintendent of Police K. M. M. Prasanna. SANGRAM (an organisation that runs the Maharashtra State AIDS Society HIV/AIDS prevention project with women in sex work and sexual minorities in Satara District), has also sent a written complaint to the Home Minister R.R.Patil, SP K.M.M Prasanna, and the Regional DIG Tukaram Chavhan, demanding that action be taken against Dayanad Dhome and others, but no action has been taken so far. DSP Prasanna told a delegation from VAMP on 30th April that an enquiry has been instituted but he did not commit as to when one can expect its result.
Anu and Anjana are are asking for justice and their right to get a hearing. Anu feels that the miscarriage due to severe beating and the subsequent trauma are not taken seriously because she is a sex worker. In fact, the police had the audacity to tell these women that sex workers cannot be mothers.
Our demands are as follows:
1. The Inquiry in the case is expedited and the report be made public.
2. Inspector Dayanand Dhome be suspended with immediate effect.
3. A grievance committee be set up by the Maharashtra Government, which includes members from the field of sex work, women rights, police, law, so that such incidents are not repeated and whereby victims of assault, false cases and violence get speedy justice.
4. The Maharashtra Government which runs the HIV/AIDS programmes with sex workers have a policy that eliminates police violence against sex workers male/female and transgender.
The following action plan has been planned for Monday, the 14th of May 2012
- Organisations from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu have endorsed the march and will participate along with children of sex-workers, and women in sex-work, in Satara on Monday, the 14thof May.
- Mitra collective will lead the march to affirm their strong relationship with their mothers who are part of ‘vamp’ the sex-workers’ collective in southern Maharashtra.
- March route; Rajwada chowk- Malharpet – DSP office – Powai naka – Collectorate, Satara.
- Time 3-6pm.
Mitra Sanghatana [Collective of children of sex workers]
- Sex workers cannot be mothers – says Satara police #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com)