The Andhra Pradesh Police on Tuesday said they have arrested the state tourism department’s deputy manager for attacking a woman colleague in Nellore. The arrest came after a video of C Bhaskar attacking the woman with a thick wooden stick was widely shared on social media.
The incident took place on June 27 at the Tourism Hotel in Dargamitta after the woman identified as Usharani asked Bhaskar to wear a mask amid the coronavirus crisis. The video shows Bhaskar walking into a room and dragging Usharani by her hair, making her fall to the ground. He repeatedly attacks her with the wooden stick on her back even as other employees in the office try to intervene.
The matter was reported to the police on the same day at 3 pm. The Nellore Police said that Bhaskar has been arrested and is being sent for judicial remand. “A case vide crime no 362/2020 u/s 354, 355 and 324 IPC was booked on 27.06.2020,” the police tweeted. “Nellore district police is extremely sensitive to any violation or crime against women. Women safety is our top priority.”
According to the first information report, the deputy manager held a grudge against Usharani. A few months ago, Usharani along with her husband had chastised Bhaskar for spreading rumours about her.
“The accused C Bhaskar, who had previous enmity with the complainant, abused her in filthy language, dragged her from the chair by caught hold of her tuft, then he assaulted over her face and head with a stick to the wooden chair and also insulted her in the public place before others,” the FIR said.
National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma took up the matter, saying the accused needs to be booked for his act. The Andhra Pradesh Police said they are committed to taking swift action.
A case has been filed under Sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation) of the Indian Penal Code.
The 43-year-old woman is a contractual employee with the tourism department. Bhaskar has been suspended and an investigation has also been initiated against him.