How Delhi police assaulted my daughter on 25 December: Usha Saxena

From The Telegraph

USHA SAXENA writes a letter to Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit:

Dear ma’am,

My daughter Shambhavi and I and a colleague of mine Reema Ganguly went to Jantar Mantar today 25th Dec to take part in a peaceful gathering there against the gang-rape.

At around 4pm two girls came running up to us in tears and said that the police had dragged away 2 of their female friends to Parliament Street Police Station and they asked us to help bring them back. The three of us joined 9 other women and we went to the police station. When we reached there we only saw male constables. We demanded to talk to a female senior officer and said that the 3 women must be released immediately. The policemen very rudely and aggressively tried to chase us out. We refused to leave without those 3 women and so one male cop ordered some female cops standing in the courtyard to come in and arrest all of us.

All of us linked our arms and were being dragged away when I saw a female constable dragging a girl by her hair. My daughter Shambhavi ran to help her and before my eyes I saw a male cop and a female cop pulling my daughter’s hair and hitting her head against a wall I managed to extricate myself and ran towards the 2 young girls to protect them and we managed to get them away…we were then pushed into a small room where we found 4 other women detained earlier – they also recounted how they were slapped and their clothes torn while they were dragged here.

We were kept in that room for 3 hours with no reason being given and finally some woman from an NGO Deepjyoti she said came and said she will get us out if we apologise. We refused and when asked for our names and addresses and phone numbers we all collectively decided only to give other names because we were terrified of what the police would do with our contact information … the three of us – my daughter, my colleague and I gave our names as Divya, Geeta and Aastha.

While we were just about to leave, some cops came rushing out and demanded to know who ‘Shambhavi’ was, because some Shambhavi was informing the media that we were beaten up and detained (my daughter had been tweeting all that was happening) Terrified of what they would do to her, we pulled together and rushed out of there.

We reached home, terrified and hurting all over and now suddenly at 10.24pm, I receive a call from 01123361100 where a man said he was from the same NGO and if Shambhavi did not come and apologise to the SHO at Parliament Street, they would file an FIR against us and come and arrest us in the night itself.

Ma’am, please help.

A terrified mother,
Usha Saxena

While Shambhavi was tweeting, a major disinformation campaign on Twitter portrayed her as a liar who was cooking up these tweets. The disinformation campaign seems to have succeeded to the extent that this morning, the Calcutta Telegraph (which is not circulated in Delhi) was the only paper to have reported the incident along with her plight:

Shambhavi, whose tweets perhaps led to their release, recounted their experience after the cops realised the matter was out in the media. “They called us names, threatened us and beat us up,” she told The Telegraph just after she had been let off.

“We don’t know what we did. We were all girls, peacefully protesting. They didn’t even have the decency to tell us what they were picking us up for. They told us not to tell anyone once we were outside what happened with us.”

A 16-year-old, one of those detained, said their mobile phones were taken away. “They took down our names and addresses and even the contact details of our fathers, giving us a veiled threat that if we opened our mouths, they would do more than just slap us around,” said the girl who had bruises on her face and shivered in the winter evening chill as she stood outside the police station after being released.

One woman constable, she said, told them “yahan law nahi chalta (the law doesn’t work here)”.

Among those detained was another 16-year-old who had been protesting against the bus gang rape for the past three days and whose parents are currently out of Delhi.

“I have been coming here every day. Never have I been violent. I don’t know why this happened to us. They wouldn’t even tell us why they were treating us like this. Some of the parents who had turned up to take their kids were threatened with dire consequences if they allowed their daughters to be at any protest from now on,” she said.

Shambhavi, a student of Lady Shri Ram College for Women, is a volunteer activist with Greenpeace India and describes herself as a wildlife lover on her Facebook page. [Full story]

The allegation that she was lying is still being made by some on Twitter. For instance they are asking: How did she have the time to tweet when police was slamming her head on the wall? Well, she did so much after, while being in illegal detention. The doubters believe the police that while women had been detained, Shambhavi was not one of them. Well, Shambhavi’s name is not on police records because as her mother says, they deliberately gave false names.

 I just spoke to Shambhavi and her mother Usha, who said they are willing to go to any extent to prove their allegations, that the disinformation campaign against her daughter is unsurprising, that the police and the government want to create these controversies to divert attention from the issue of women’s safety in the city.

You can see Shambhavi’s tweets on her Twitter TL, but here are screenshots (start reading from the last tweet upwards).


More from Kafila:

26 December:

25 December

24 December

23 December

58 thoughts on “How Delhi police assaulted my daughter on 25 December: Usha Saxena”

  1. Mr. Shinde, are you Listening? Ms. CM are you deaf? Can’t believe you people can stoop to such levels and then pretend to be with us…… This is worse than shedding crocodile’s tears!!! Shame on you all!!

  2. That’s how police always treat the ordinary Indian. Middle-class never speaks about these victims because they are either Poor, Dalit or Muslim.

  3. I had gone with Usha, Shambhavi and another friend of theirs to the Parltt St thana today to submit a complaint. Shambhavi identified the cop who slammed her against a wall – it was SHO Dinesh Kumar. Met the ACP, who denied it all outright, and when I asked him if he would care to apologise to Shambhavi for what happened he said ‘Why should I apologise? You choose to believe these women, you can file a complaint.” Even this was probably coz we were accompanied by some media reps. I asked him if this wasnt a repeat of the Mumbai facebook arrest, only worse? How come someone from a so-called NGO ‘Deepjyoti’ made that intimidatory call to Usha at 10.24 at night, saying come to the thana with yr daughter and apologise or else we’ll file an FIR against you & you’ll be arrested at night??!! No answer. No one willing to tell us who or what is Deepjyoti – tho wile at Jtr Mtr today I did find a woman standing around lecturing people about how protests should remain confined to Jtr Mtr. She said she ws from an ‘NGO’ so I had a hunch this might be the woman from Deepjyoti who yelled Shambhavi’s name in the day yesterday for contacting media, so I asked her about the girls being thrashed in the thana. She said ‘Maine hi to unhe chudaya’ (I got them released) but claimed they had then committed the crime of contacting the media! A pet police NGO!! Another question is how they got Usha’s number since she and others had givenm false names and numbers. The only clue could have been the tweets I guess?

    1. This is the way all police stations are working irrespective of which state it belongs to. This culture is left over of British Raj. The present legislators and not intend to change it because they want police and police want them. In case of trouble you just contact a politician for taking a bail, (for which you have to sacrifice something) you need not to file any paper, instead all police records will be destroyed. This I come to know about 25 years back. If you bring an not well known layer, it may not possible to get the bail So what to do. Either react so forcefully with the support of media or not to react at all. I do not think Sheela Madam will help. Make Indian awake, join in hand irrespective of cast creed, religion and and politics, out the criminal politicians from politics. Present politicians are not for change, bring new generation in politics, make more women in politics. come on. let us work together.

  4. And PS: This number from which the intimidatory call was made at night by the supposed NGO guy was 01123361100 – the Parltt St thana number!

    1. Is there any law under which general public can call up from around India and report against injustice – even as if it were DeepJyoti NGO – we can always call up and NGO, right?
      We could start a campaign to keep their phone ringing 24×7 with calls from all over India. That would probably teach them not to use dirty tricks like that.

  5. I’m really sad to hear about how women gets treated across the globe and especially in metros like Delhi and lately in a so called safe city for women -Amchi Mumbai. (FYI Even I’m from Mumbai so back off) How can they do this to a woman? All this for no apparent reason and they are targeting women?! Disgraceful…..really shameful.

  6. Twitter can be a powerful place where the popular guys with trusted followers can turn on anyone by a single tweet that that user

    1. This @Maswoodz guy is with NSUI which itself is a student wing of congress. what do you expect buddy?

  7. It is not clear who is in charge in Delhi, Capital of a Country expected to be a Top Global player – INDIA 2020 SUPER POWER etc as boasted earlier–PM or Sonia or Rahul or Home Minster or Sheila Dixit or Lt Guv or Police Commissioner or ?????


    1. Praying and hoping for God to set things right is not the way to go about this. God only helps those who help themselves.. Peace..

  9. It appears that the old British method of ruling over an alien populace is still continuing.

  10. This is a confusing account because in her tweets Shambhavi says a woman constable beat her and slammed her against a wall and in the comments here her friend/colleague Kavita says today Shambhavi identified SHO Dinesh Kumar (I am assuming he is male) as the one who slammed her head against the wall. Which one is true then?

    1. Whats so confusing… Shambhavi was beaten by a male cop after she ran to help a friend who was being beaten up by the female cop… Please read carefully

    2. Looks like Dinesh Kumar gave the order to arrest them and another female “police officer” did the hair pulling

  11. I am so sorry to hear all this and respect all of you for going there and standing for all the countrymen. No body can understand what you had to go through until and unless he or she had been in the same situation. By the grace of our great politicians and kind POLICE Men every now and then many of us are facing the same issues. I wish Why the Mayans were not right and why it all just not vanished. May God give some consciousness to these people. These are the reasons how Naxalite and Terrorists are born . Please stop it.. Please…

  12. any complain should be recorded by police. in our country, the police is acting like a puppet of politicians those who r in power and those who have money. as a result these incidents r now regular deeds of these criminals who r growing under the umbrella of politicians.

  13. For those who are willing to waste time debating whether Shambhavi’s story is true or not – the fact that peaceful protesters were brutalized, detained without valid cause, threatened and intimidated with dire consequences is enough to be going on with. Forget it if you don’t believe this one girl, face the fact that Delhi Police and Indian Police in general is acting like an organized mafia syndicate and are funded by our money. OUR Tax money. From buying milk to paying for your broadband to buying your umpteenth pack of smokes – we have all paid the money. and now watch how your hard earned money funds the police that beat up your sister, mother, daughter and friend, If you are not outraged by that, check your pulse. You are probably dead already.

  14. you are not going to believe this but i even called IBN7 news channel as soon as i got to know that you have been detained through facebook. The operator diverted my call to another operator and after explaining about the situation he disconnected…even media is not going to help us out!!

  15. All the goverment Mr. & Mrs. were deaf and blind can’t able to see any thing and can”t understand what will be going in Delhi(Capital of Country) no measures are taken by these people inspite of revenge and theartning the normal protesting People.

    This is the real picture of Mrs.Dixist and Mr.Shinday and All the Superemo head heandling on all these things…

  16. in India life of a women has become hell. If a girl has faced sexual assault and hide from the world, The man who does it becomes more strong and assumes that the girl will not revolt. He gains more power and attempt to do it even twice sometimes it has happened among his friends he calls her bitch, invites other to do so and take sadistic pleasure of it.If the girls goes to authorities she is blamed herself. It is always considered as a girl’s mistake. Everybody holds her responsible for the crime that has happened with her. In cases like this where so many women and men are protesting government just want to close it out any how. This case and all other sexual assault cases are shame to India where women are worshiped.

  17. I’m really ashamed of being an Indian. Even in the days of British, I believe the cops and even General Dyre was answerable to the SYSTEM and here it seems everyone has his own sweet will and way of working especially most Govt. officials, including yourself if you are one. Mend ways and enforce stricter penalty before there is social revolt.

  18. Dipak singh

    I’m also seeing cluprit face of delhi police in P.S Uttam nagar. SI RAM Pal detains one of protester of Candle march at Najafgadh Road nr. East Uttam nagar metro station.. SHO ashok Tiyagi, S.I RAM PAL and 10-cops of P.S uttam nagar arrived with Armed & LAthi. They badly bitten to girls, women & Student without warning……….than they chased 3-4 student and bitt by “Thappar, Lthi on the road” all ppl of soap keeper and other ppl are eye witness of the oocrrance which is done by delhi police……from 8:30 PM to 10:30PM hold on P.S Uttam nagar. “when someone goes to P.S about inquiry how many ppl held. that time delhi police aggresively harrased & thertend to public and told them “mai tum sub ko case dal kar jail dunga of and call her/his contable to arrest all of them”

  19. I don’t doubt that the Delhi police have been terrible at handling this situation. And in no way do I want to undermine the horror this girl faced, with the questions I am going to ask However, having worked in media and met tons of people who try and get mileage through such situations by portraying themselves as victims and making up stories, I would have to take this with a pinch of salt and ask:

    1. Shambhavi tweets, “W e are locked in a room, guarded by all of station’s police force.” When in the lockup after being brutally assaulted, are you allowed to have your cellphone and are you in a state to use it?

    2. Shambhavi tweets “To confirm, we were released around 6:45 pm yesterday from Parliament street…”
    However, if you read the letter it says that around 4 pm some girls came up to them and asked for help and then they went to the police station. Then there was the episode of being assaulted by the cops. And later in the letter it says they were were kept in a room for 3 hours after which there was questioning of names & addresses. something doesnt add up… however I agree this is nitpicking would give the benefit of the doubt of getting the timing wrong in a situation like this.

    3. They say they didnt give their real names or phone nos. out of fear of the police. But why then on a public platform have they revealed their real names and phone no.? Will the police not find out?
    (phone no. of Usha Saxena posted here by herself I’m guessing:

    4. if you follow her friend’s tweets who was tweeting about the case, (, you’ll see that she has tweeted on Dec. 24th about Shambhavi being detained. Shambhavi’s tweets of being detained are on Dec. 25th. Also, she claims they are arrested (or detained?) at Mandir Marg police station. Were they detained twice??

    5. Also, the friend has tweeted to most media names — rajdeep, barkha — saying “need help. big story for you.” and a tweet to shambhavi saying “im trying to bring in more media cavalry, wait for me.” including many other tweets about which news channels are running a story on shambhavi,
    Everyone wants their 15 mins of fame.. sigh!

    Would be happy to be proven wrong on all counts.

    1. There have been enough pictures in the media of protesters, both men and women, being beaten up and manhandled. I see no reason to disbelieve Usha. Shambhavi’s tweeting from the lockup was an act of courage. About the friend tweeting to the media , it was the best possible course of action under the circumstances. Can you think of anything better? Usha and her daughter would naturally have to reveal their real identities once they decide to file complaints. What’s strange about that? You seem to be a part of the disinformation campaign. Your questions do not stand scrutiny.

  20. I am really ashamed that I have born in this country….action speak better than words…but we are a middle class people tied with too many responsibilities and thats the reason these powerful, uncultured, uncivilized people who has becoming rich just by sucking all balls…Really disheartened how these people we all know…..they don’t have realization for all this as they are already in the same pond from years

  21. A govt.who dosn,t respect women has no place in this country. We all must ensure that they are thrown out.

  22. The bad part is after the incorrect information is tweeted by a @V1SH4L with a lot of followers .The online/offline vigilantes took over based on his (VISHAL DADLANI
    @V1SH4L) tweets and abused and branded the girl a fake and a liar and worse things. It is almost as bad a the public who says a victim is lying in real life

  23. After reading all this the horror that these girls went through, I have lost all my decent vocab and only thing I want to tell these cops and their masters is “Bas___ds”!! You guys have gone down the drain…

  24. Sheila and Sonia stop this Hitlersahi. What is this going on and why? We are treated like Terrorist and on the other hand SCAMMERs and CHORs are roaming Free. End to the Corrupt Party – Congress is near.

    1. How, same things happened last year with Ramdev, ppl old ladies were slepping and police open lathicharge. People still vote for congress, you and me are cattle class we are neither vote banks nor influential, so how Congress end is near………….they are the monsters who control everything, wait and you will see, even next Delhi govt. will be of congress, because if not u your neighbour will vote for congress as most of us are fools

  25. I commend the courage of Usha Saxena. Let us stand with her. As for what she is going through, we have to pay the price for electing such leaders, which have come in through fair elections. By now, the system has become too strong to be challenged. Today we are paying the price of what we did yesterday. All we can do is to get sensible today, so that tomorrow is better. There are not silver bullets.

  26. Its time for a revolution.Its time for an all out assault.Time to take it back from the aggressors.The enemy is at the gates.Get ready.

  27. if all this happened at the parliament street PS, one should net t surprised, the parliament is full of outlaws

  28. This is called STATE SPONSORED TERRORISM. The government is using force against its own people. Even the British did not do such heinous acts as our government. After the Jalianwala bagh massacre, the British Queen was horrified and was believed to have wept. General Dyer was reprimanded/fired.








  30. Shame. Delhi Police & administration have bared their barbaric traits by terrorising & physically assaulting young girls & women, whom they are duty bound to protect, but end up outraging their modesty with impunity. How can Delhi citizens, especially women, feel safe with such lawless behaviour on the part of Law Enforcement Agencies. All those guilty of these crimes against innocent women must be punished sverely.

  31. wen people gather for a good cause tey r being oppressed harased and exploited………
    tis is the reason 4 birth of naxals and spread of terrorism ………tis kind of inhuman behavoiur need to be checked and such ones who misuse power ….should be seriously punished …………………. let the truth triumph

  32. Don’t worry shambhavi we all trust u and we really do know how good this police all over India is,specially the Delhi police. You know why they are thrying to chase everyone off from the protest,coz they themselves knw that somewhere within them they are also beasts like those 6 rapists and a true judgement for those rapists would be killing their hopes of raping or assaulting female.

  33. This is a learning opportunity for India. We have never had such a huge protest in recent generations. I see the govt. and security agencies as being unprepared with strategies to handle crowd protests. The only known and tested technique is cordon, tear gas, and hosing down people.That is not going to work on the streets where groups of levels are fighting for the same legitimate cause.
    Academics, NGOs, media, and security high ups with solid women representation must get together to formalize strategy and action to answer the questions of the protesters and put structures in place to make peace in the community.
    Rumors, tweets or not, the social problem for women is REAL and must be answered to and help provided to rape victims.
    Are we telling the world we are still third world and cannot handle our inhouse issues with peaceful cooperation?

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