Pro­test­ers tried to force feed me ‘poor qual­ity’ food: IAS of­fi­cer

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent

A day after a group of pro­test­ers from a tribal rights group was ar­rested for abus­ing and con­fin­ing an IAS of­fi­cer to her of­fice , the of­fi­cer told HT that they tried to force her to eat ‘poor-qual­ity’ take-home ra­tion food.

“I was con­fined to my of­fice for three hours. They didn’t let me leave to even at­tend the leg­is­la­ture com­mit­tee meet­ing in the dis­trict. They were abu­sive and forced me to eat the THR (take home ra­tion) food brought by them” Nidhi Choud­hari told HT on Sat­ur­day.

Mean­while, the pro­test­ers, from Shram­jeevi San­gath­ana, an or­gan­ista­tion headed by for­mer Va­sai MLA Vivek Pan­dit, said they have met the CM to de­mand an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The pro­test­ers said they only went to meet Choud­hari to com­plain about the qual­ity of food, non­pay­ment of salary to an­gan­wadi work­ers and other such is­sues.

On Fri­day, Choud­hari, who is also the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Pal­ghar Zilla Par­ishad, took to Twit­ter to re­port the protestors. Choud­hari went on to file an FIR, after which the po­lice ar­rested 39 protestors.

Pan­dit , mean­while, has said he is in­no­cent and in protest, has re­fused to get out on bail.

One of Choud­hari’s tweets read: “Wished Drau­padi was the last woman ha­rassed and em­bar­rassed in pub­lic. Thank you Bharat for con­tin­u­ing Ma­hab­harat in life of ev­ery woman. (sic)”

“What a #Pan­chay­ati Raj Day 4 ZP, mor­cha cre­ated havoc, hin­dered work, man­han­dled, abused in of­fice of @Pal­gharceo, Sita & Drau­padi r no myth,” she con­tin­ued in a se­ries of tweets. Choud­hari also posted video clips of the in­ci­dent, where she is sur­rounded by po­lice se­cu­rity dur­ing the protest. The po­lice said NGO work­ers were protest­ing against the in­fe­rior qual­ity of the take home ra­tion food.

Choud­hari said even her own of­fice staff warned her not to take le­gal ac­tion against the pro testers.

“I agree that the is­sues they raised were gen­uine, but most of them are out of my purview. On their de­mand of non-pay­ment of salaries to an­gan­wadi work­ers I told them I am yet to re­ceive funds from the gov­ern­ment and will re­lease it as soon I get them,” Choud­hari told HT.

The group’s gen­eral se­cre tary Balaram Bhoir, said “When we ap­proached her, she said she had to at­tend a leg­isla ture com­mit­tee meet­ing imme di­ately. Two of our ac­tivists tried to stop her car only when they got to know that she was leav­ing the of­fice,” said Bhoir adding, “Noth­ing of the sort she is try­ing to por­tray hap­pened.” If the protestors were wrong why did it take the CEO one day to file the FIR, Bhoir said “To­day, we met CM Deven­dra Fad­navis and de­manded a fair in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Our ac­tivists are protest­ing in Thane, Pal­ghar and Raigad against this in­jus tice and will con­tinue to un­til our leader (Pan­dit) is re­leased.”

The po­lice have filed a case un­der rel­e­vant sec­tions of the IPC.

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