#SupremeInjustice: 30 Detained for Protest Over Clean Chit to CJI
Over 30 students, activists, and gender rights campaigners, among others, were arrested in Bengaluru on Thursday, 9 May, for protesting against the clean chit given to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi over a sexual harassment allegation.
Holding placards and posters, with black bands across their mouths, the group first gathered outside Bangalore High Court gate in Ambedkar Veedhi, then moved to Mysore Bank Circle down the road when the problems started. A few minutes into the protest, cops broke up the gathering, stating that the group had not sought permission.
“We are doing it for preventive reasons. They don’t have permission to be here. It is for their safety,” said a cop, dragging advocates into waiting police vehicles.
The protesters were taken to the Halasuru gate police station nearby and held for nearly two hours. They were let off with a warning to take permission next time.
“We first started our protest near the High Court. The protest was basically modelled around making sure that there is justice for the sexual harassment victim, who wasn’t given due process. We proceeded to the place where we were detained. Probably three to four minutes into the protest, we had just shouted a few slogans, 2-3-4 max, and by then, all the police started coming and told us we were creating a traffic jam.”Jannani, student and intern at Alternative Law Forum.
The group was protesting against “the in-house committee and the lack of due procedure in handling the allegations against the CJI.” They called it a “grave injustice by the country’s apex court”.
Gopika Bashi, a gender justice campaigner who was present and taking pictures of the protest, said the police gave no reason as to why they were detaining them.
“Nothing was told to people. Banners were taken away. Anybody with a banner was being taken away,” she said.
Police maintained that the activists had been detained for their safety as they did not have the required permission to gather in a group in that area.
However, the group shared the letter submitted to the DCP Central, seeking permission to gather and use a mic to address a gathering of 30-40 people on Thursday afternoon. They said that they received an acknowledgement of that letter.