Police Stops School Girls

Even school girls were not spared by CM Yogi’s police in UP’s Banaras for taking out a procession in memory of Savitribai Phule with slogans of education and equality for women. They were holding a Siksha Adhikar Rally (right to education rally) on 16 January but the police in Banaras stopped them on the way in the name of section 144. This section of criminal law implies maintenance of law and order which police feared could be in danger due to those girls. They wanted to go up to the statue of Dr. Ambedkar. Later they assembled at the BHU gate where Prof Chauthi Ram Yadav and AIPWA leader Kusum Verma addressed them.

Kusum Verma said that in the nineteenth century when Savitribai Phule came out of her home to teach girl children, she had to face the opposition of dominant patriarchal anti-women upper caste forces. Even today women are facing the same discrimination by the same type of sections of society. The government untiringly boasts of Beti Padhao but at the same time it is taking away the freedom and democratic right of girls by using its own police. Today we need to learn from the lives of Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh and take inspiration from them.