Photo: Police brutally attack film activists in Thrissur, Kerala. On Saturday, night February 22 five activists of VIBGYOR film festival were picked up by police from the front of the festival venue and brutally beat them up inside the police vehicle and inside the police station. Advocate R.K Asha who went to give them legal aid also was attacked by   male police inside the station. She has a wound on her leg from the attack by the male police and she is bleeding. Asha’s son Gautham and daughter Gadha who were accompanying their mother too were attacked and detained by the  police. All of them are detained by the police at the time of this writing.  </p><br /><br />
<p>The activists detained in the Thrissur East police station are Neethu, Jithesh, Vivek, Nithin and Anurag, Advocate Asha and her son Gautham and daughter Gadha . All the women were verbally abused and harassed by the policemen. </p><br /><br />
<p> On 14th of this month, Hindutwa hooligans with the collusion of the police had tried to prevent the screening of “Ocean of Tears” a film from Kashmir. VIBGYOR film collective stood together and drove back the lumpen elements from the venue. The police simply stood and watched the spectacle and allowed the hooligans to go scot-free. Even though these hooligans destroyed the VIBGYOR festival office, no cases were registered against them. You can read the report here</p><br /><br />
<p>A police man who had sided with the Hindutwa elements was involved in the present attack on the VIBGYOR activists. It must be suspected that the Hindutwa elements are settling their score with the help of the  police force. </p><br /><br />
<p>Take Urgent Action:</p><br /><br />
<p>Write letters  to these key people in Kerala to take action and punish those responsible. </p><br /><br />
<p>Chief Minister of Kerala<br /><br /><br />
Home Minister (minister incharge of law and order) </p><br /><br />
<p>K.S.Balasubramanian<br /><br /><br />
State Police Chief


OnFebruary 22, 2014, five activists of VIBGYOR International FilmFestival were picked up by the police in Trichur and they werebrutally beaten up inside the vehicle as well as inside the policestation. Young woman cinematographer Neethu was attacked physicallyby male police and was subjected to sexual verbal abuse as well asphysical violence. Five young activists were physically attacked andare detained by police at the Thrissur East Police station. AdvocateR. K. Asha who came with her son and daughter to release theactivists were also brutally beaten up and the male police kicked herwith boots and she was dragged in front of her children. Her son andminor daughter were also subjected to physical violence. AdvocateAsha, her minor daughter, Neethu, and Sruti were hospitalized inThrissur later.

It is shocking that the police attacks on women activists of VIBGYOR took place soon after the completion of 9th VIBGYOR which focused on Gender Violence. When the work of internationally famous Eve Einsler, `Vagina Monologues’ was performed, the police tried to initiate physical violence on February15, 2014 right inside the festival ground. On February 13th,when the Sangh Parivar activists tried to stop the screening of thedocumentary on Kashmir `Ocean of Tears’, the police facilitated them to enter the campus and destroy the festival office. While thehooligans destroyed the office right in front of the police, no case was registered on any of these communal fascists. The activists of VIBGYOR courageously and unitedly resisted them in a non-violent manner and the fascists were forced to withdraw.

According to K P Sasi , The police did not take action on those Sangh Parivar hoodlooms who destroyed the office of VIBGYOR International Film Festival.It happened right in front of the nose of Sub Inspector Lal Kumar. But they chose to bash up people connected with VIBGYOR.

Lawyers under the Bar Association have staged a protest demanding action against Lal Kumar. Around 200 people had participated. There was  a protest  by the Action Council of various organisations raising issues like police violence on women,protection of cultural spaces and to pressurise the authorities to suspend the dictator Lal Kumar. Incidentally, it is this very same Lal Kumar who is responsible for unleashing violence on the Kathikkudam struggle against chemical pollution in Chalakkudy. Activists, women and children were beaten up at that time.This officer has also let loose oppressive witch-hunts, like against people wearing t-shirts or even rings with the music icon Bob Marley’s image, charging them of being involved in drugs. We declare that this officer is literally an insult to Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala.

 The funnier side of the story is that the police station in which Advocate Asha, her minor daughter, son and others were beaten up is called Jana Maitri Police station.


Read about the attack here —

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