According to a First Information Report (FIR) filed by state Congress women’s wing President Pratima Coutinho, BJP workers allegedly assaulted and molested women workers of her party during the commotion which followed on Friday evening outside the Congress office at Panaji.
Pratima Coutinho has alleged in her complaint to the Panaji Police that she was physically groped and touched inappropriately by several male members of the BJP goons who attacked them outside the Congress office. She also alleged in her complaint that a group of male BJP thugs fondled and pressed her private parts in the melee and confusion that followed and outraged her modesty and molested her. She has demanded that the police immediately arrest those male members of the mob who manhandled her, molested her and outraged her modesty. She has claimed that she was pushed down to the ground by the mob consisting mostly of male members of the BJP party who first forcibly pushed her down on the road and then fondled and groped her. However, 24 hours after the incident, no action has been taken by the police and no arrests have been made as yet.
“At the time when the leaders approached us, we maintained calm and peacefully welcomed them and offered them refreshments and flowers. Seeing our gesture, the BJP party president Vinay Tendulkar got furious and flung the thali of samosas which was presented to him towards the face of the Manila Congress worker. Thereafter the bouquet of flowers which was presented was also thrown away. BJP workers then flung the samosas on our faces and assaulted us with water bottles, chappals and shoes,” Coutinho said in her First Information Report at the Panaji police station.
She alleged that hundreds of BJP male workers shouted vulgar and abusive slogans against her and called her very abusive and vulgar names in fully public view and chanted slogans like “Pratima Randi” which has been recorded by the media who were taping the entire incident. “The faces of those abusing me and calling me very vulgar names is fully recorded by the media. They must be immediately arrested and taken to task by the law,” she demanded.
The FIR filed against unnamed BJP workers has been registered under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 323 (causing hurt), 504 (breach of peace), 509 (outraging modesty of women), 354 (criminal assault) of the Indian Penal Code.
This morning, several Congress MLAs led by Congress Party President Girish Chodankar, CLP leader Babu Kavlekar, MLA Philip Neri Rodrigues of Velim and others, met the Goa DGP and submitted a memorandum to him demanding justice to the Congress workers who were manhandled and molested by the BJP mob.
Pratima Coutinho, alleged that she was molested and abused by the BJP workers. “I was abused by male BJP workers, the worst part is that police also behaved like the puppets of the BJP. We were hardly 15-20 people who were attacked by BJP mobs. We condemn this attack. Whenever we have agitated we have not stooped down to this level,” she told news agency ANI.