Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) filed a complaint with the commission on March 23 on behalf of the sex workers. This is in addition to a complaint filed by PUCL on February 6, on the same issue, detailing the incidents of violence against sex workers.
“…In some incidents women have been beaten up just for standing on the road, or while walking towards the bus stop to catch a bus. Women have been beaten up and forced to go to the police station, where they are compelled to pay money, failing which they are threatened that false cases will be filed against them,” Professor Rajendra Y J of PUCL said.
He alleged that they are neither given receipts, and any question raised by the woman is met with further assault by police officials.
The March 23 complaint was filed as the incidents of violence continued despite an order of the SHRC directing that an enquiry be conducted by the IGP into the February complaint. “…But violence against the women continued, and, on February 24 and 25, ten sex workers were chased, abused and assaulted by the police in Upparpete,” he said.
C G Hunagund, member of the Commission, took cognizance of the new complaint filed by PUCL, that the violence was continuing unabated and with impunity, and passed an order directing the Inspector General of Police of the Commission to submit a report within a month.
“He also took note of the circular dated September 30, 2004, issued by the office of the Director General and Inspector General of Police, which mentions that the provisions of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act should be used against the agents and facilitators of sexual exploitation of women and children, and not against sex workers themselves,” he added.
A PUCL note said that the complaint comes at the end of a series of representations made by the organisation to various authorities, including the Commissioner of Police, to the Director General and Inspector General of Police, to the Deputy Commissioner, West Division, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chikpete Sub-division, and to Umashree, Minister of Women and Child Development in Karnataka.