A female student in Kerala’s Kollam district was booked by police on July 26 for opposing the police over levying fines citing violation of COVID-19 protocol. The video of Gowry Nanda, the student, questioning the police officers has gone viral on social media.
The 18-year old student submitted the complaint in front of the Kerala State Youth Commission. Following which the Chadayamangalam police, who booked Nanda, have dropped the case, reports suggest.
According to The News Minute, the Chadayamangalam native, who is a class 12 student, accompanied by her mother, was going back home after visiting a hospital. Nanda allegedly saw police berating an elderly man for not following COVID-19 protocol. After witnessing the incident she went up to the police personnel to enquire about the issue.
The video making rounds on social media shows the female student in a heated argument with the officers.
“You don’t need to teach me. I know to do my work responsibly,” said the officer and walked away. Then Gowry began to question the other officer present where the incident took place.
“Since you are a woman I cannot touch you or I would have pushed you aside now,” he replies.
Later in the video, the bystanders also allege that the police were “illegally” levying fines only on a few people. The student suggested he file a complaint, for which she was issued a ‘petty notice’.
According to Gowry Nanda, she was accused of obstructing an official on duty and then booked under non-bailable charges.
Speaking of the incident, Nanda stated that she stopped at the ATM on her way home where people had been standing in front of it in a queue following physical distance. When she stepped out of the ATM, she saw police “roughing up an elderly man”.
The female student intervened and then retorted when the police allegedly used “abusive language” against her.
“The Sub Inspector used an abusive word, which is why I retorted. And they said since I was a woman they did not do anything. What is wrong with being a woman? What was the need to specifically point this out? There is no difference between men and women,” she said.
Later, she found out through media reports that she was issued non-bailable charges over the incident and no one from the station informed her.
“No one from the station informed me of this. My advocate however, called and confirmed this,” she explained.
When the video went viral, the Kerala Women’s Commission officials contacted Gowry Nanda and asked if she had any complaints. Meanwhile, the State Youth Commission has reportedly sought a report from the state Police Chief on the matter.