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Anti-liquor campaigners attacked and stripped by basti women at Chhayanagar

Jamshedpur, Aug. 21: In a shocking incident, a group of anti-liquor campaigners in the Sitaramdera thana area in the city on Sunday received a set back as three members of the group were partially stripped by female members of a house where it raided for unearthing illicit liquor and also beaten.

The incident took place at densely-populated slum, Chhayanagar in Bhuiyandih under Sitaramdera poice station area at about 11 am.

The women who were assaulted and humiliated for crusading against the sale of illicit liquor include Puja Singh, Maya Devi and Chhaya Kumari. At least four scribes, including two photographers who were present at the spot for covering the incident were also injured.

A team of anti-liquor campaigners led by Puja Singh entered over a house which belongs to one Parvati Devi at Chhayanagar on the information that there was a good stock of illicit liquor there.

The women had searched for the liquor bottles inside the house and subsequently opened a refrigerator to liquor as they did not get enough stock of liquor at the house. As they opened the refrigerator, they found it filled with beer bottles.

At the sight of the beer bottles in the refrigerator, the anti-liquor campaigners started taking the bottles away from it. But soon after a group of women, including the house owner Paravati Devi surrounded the campaigners and attacked them. The attackers tore upon the upper garment of Puja Singh (40) and then also partially stripped two other campaigners.

Puja Singh and her group informed the police, leading a police party to arrive at the scene within 10 minutes. But by the time the police arrived, the attackers had mobilised more bustee dwellers in their support. The agitated slum dwellers had pelted stones group of anti-liquor crusaders and forced them to leave Chhayanagar.

But the matter calmed down at about 12.30 pm, when deputy superintendent police( city), Animesh Nathani arrived at the spot and forced the bustee dwellers to remain confined to their homes. The police had subsequently raided at several houses and succeeded to unearth more liquor bottles from the house of Parvati Devi.

Officer-in-charge, Sitaramdera thana, Rajiv Ranjan Lal confirmed that three women belonging to the anti-liquor campaign were injured on being attacked by some slum dwellers, but he denied any one of them being partially stripped.

Puja Singh, who sustained internal injuries said that they have been crusading against manufacture, sale and consumption of liquor at Bhuiyandih in Sitaramdera since the past two months. But, they had never imagined that they will have face assault by women bustee dwellers for whose welfare they are working for.

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