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"Bangalore Raid", Manohar 2 June 07

Dear Friends,

On 2nd June, 2007, Police from the Chennapatna police station (Bangalore Rural dist) raided the house of one person and arrested four women who had gathered there. All these women including two of the staff of Suraksha, a NGO working to prevent the spread of HIV/ AIDS, had been booked under section 3,4,5 and 7 of Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act. The police allowed a local TV channel, TV9, to do a live coverage of the arrest within the premises of the police station and this was telecast in the 6.00 p.m. news without either the permission of the 4 women accused or without masking their faces causing harm to these women from small villages of rural Karnataka.

Immediately after the arrest the police led by the deputy superintendent of police, Mr. Devaraj D. unlawfully entered SURAKSHA chennapatna office and went through clinical records and data of sex workers within the office premises maintained at the clinic. This search was conducted without a search warrant; it is a violation of the rights of all the people whose clinical records were sealed as the police had no valid ground to enter the premises of the organisation working there since January 2004.

Today, on 3rd June, 2007 the Karnataka Sex Workers' Union along with representatives from Suraksha, Sangama, Sadhane, Samara, Sanchaya Nele and other social justice organisations had assembled in front of the CHennapatna police station to stage a peaceful protest in the afternoon.

They were attacked by the police and local goondas (who were instigated and provoked by the police themselves), were manhandled, beaten up and chased away from the protest venue. The goondas who were about 50-60 in number have beaten up the peaceful activists ruthlessly. They slapped them, kicked them, women were manhandled, sexually harassed and filthily abused. Geetha, Uma, Kala, Manohar, Rangeela, Gayatri were some who were brutally attacked.

On 4th June, 2007, at 5.00 p.m. a meeting of all organisations and individuals who believe that state sponsored fascist violence should be stopped is being organised at Centre for Youth and Cultural Development (CYCD) no. 14, CRS Nilaya, Okalipuram, Bangalore 21. We request all of you to be a part of this meeting and give us strength and support to fight injustice.

A press conference is also being organised at the Bangalore Press Club, Cubbon Park at 1.00 p.m. on 4th June 2007

In solidarity,

Manohar, Sathyasree, Rex.