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