Woman power to combat cops in UP

Women and girls in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar have now come to the fore to challenge the police force.
A series of women panchayats, held in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli over the past two days, have warned the police that if they attempt to arrest the menfolk in connection with the riots, they will first have to arrest them along with their cattle. The police has been busy rounding up men in the villages in connection with the riots and this has led to a fear psychosis among the local people.
“In most of the houses, one of the male members has either been killed in the riots or is in police custody. This cannot go on forever and we have now decided that the cops will have to face us before they get to the men,” said Kurti Devi, resident of Fugana village.
The villages that have been worst affected by riots are Fugana, Bahavadi, Kutba and Kutabi in Muzaffarnagar and Lisaad and Laank in Shamli district.
Kurti Devi said that majority of the youth, aged between 16 to 28, named in the FIRs were those who were studying or working in other districts at the time of the riots and the police was now trying to cover up its inadequacies by implicating them falsely in the cases.
The women have decided that henceforth, whenever the police pay a visit to any household, all the women in the house as well as those from the neighbouring households will block their way.
The women have also equipped themselves with lathis and will take turns to safeguard their houses and villages.
Meanwhile, the girls in the villages in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli are making bonfires of their school text books and are refusing to continue their education.

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