After Bengaluru’s pourakarmikas, the civic workers who keep the city’s streets clean, were allegedly chased, beaten and sexually abused by their contractor in Krishna Raja Puram, the police have arrested seven people in connection with the case.
On Friday, KR Puram Police arrested the seven men after 37 pourakarmikas had filed a complaint on Thursday, alleging that they were sexually abused by their garbage contractor.
Three women pourakarmikas were assaulted and 37 were sexually harassed by garbage contractor Nagesh Kumar and his staff, they said in their complaint to the police.
The arrested accused have been identified as Akshay, Sadik, Rajesh, Venkatesh, Abdul, Rafiq and Ayappa, all residents of KR Puram and employees of the contractor Nagesh. The prime suspects in the case – Nagesh and his accountant Nandish – have absconded and the police are still searching for them.
The arrested persons are employees of Nagesh and they were handling the salaries of the pourakarmikas. They assaulted the women on Nagesh’s orders.KR Puram Police
The group of women say that haven’t been paid their dues for three months now. On 12 October, when the workers from KR Puram area demanded their outstanding salaries, the contractor allegedly abused them with casteist slurs, and even took his pants off in front of the workers.
When asked for the dues, he said ‘It’s in my pants, come and get it’. He also hurled casteist abuses at them and threatened to rape them. Is this the kind of contractors BBMP engages?Vinay Srinivasa, Member, BBMP Gutteige Pourakarmika Sangha
The pourakarmikas had complained to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike Sexual Harassment Cell and also the Karnataka Social Welfare Department.
The Joint Director of the Social Welfare Department then dashed off a letter to the KR Puram Police asking them to register an FIR.
On Thursday, Nagesh received information that a complaint was filed against him. An enraged Nagesh allegedly gathered a few local thugs and attempted to threaten the civic workers again on Thursday.
The contractor brought five local goons along with him who were carrying rods and threatened the pourakarmikas. He also got hold of one of the women and beat her with the rod. He then dragged her to the police station.Maitree, Alternative Law Forum (group representing the workers)
Pourakarmikas allege that Nagesh and his thugs chased them onto the road, caught hold of three of them, beat them up and dragged them to the police station, while forcing them to withdraw the complaint.
An FIR was registered under section 354, 324, 506 and 504 of the IPC. The accused have also been booked under relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
(This article was originally published on The News Minute)
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