The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) condemns the brutal physical attack by a senior government official on a disabled contract woman employee working with the Andhra Tourism Corporation at Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.

The AP affiliate of the NPRD will be holding a protest at Nellore tomorrow.

As per report, today, when the women disabled employee who is employed on contract basis, asked the Dy. Manager of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism department, to wear a mask, he got infuriated and rained blows on her. He pulled her by her hair and threw her down on the floor after which he started beating her with an iron rod. 

What the lady employee was demanding was merely observance of the norms mandated during the Covid pandemic period. Violation of the prescribed norms of mask wearing also constitutes an offence. Given the increased vulnerability of persons with disability, the disabled employee was more concerned. 

How could a contract employee, that too a woman and on top of it a disabled one, question his wisdom and authority? It exposes the various layers of discrimination that a woman with disabilities faces both in society and at workplace. Attitudes like these cannot be condoned. 

The video of the incident is circulating on social media platforms. From what is available, it is disturbing to note that  while a few employees did try to intervene and restrain the officer, none came forward to assist the disabled woman who had fallen down and help her back to her seat and gain composure.

The police have acted promptly in registering a case against the perpetrator of the violence. But unfortunately, they have not invoked Section 92 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The RPD Act under Sec. 92 explicitly states that:

Whoever, 

(a)intentionally, insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with disability in a place within public view;

(b)Assaults or uses force on any person with disability with intent to dishonour him or outrage the modesty of a woman with disability;

(e) voluntarily injures, damages or interferes with the use of any limb or sense or any supporting device of a person with disability…..

Shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extent to five years and with fine.

The NPRD demands that the concerned official must be suspended immediately pending proceedings. A person with such an attitude and displaying it nonchalantly is not fit and has no right to hold such a position. The strictest possible departmental action should be initiated against him.

The NPRD also demands that he should be proceeded against as per the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 for which the concerned authority should accord permission.

To display its anger as also to press for the above demands, the Andhra Pradesh affiliate of the NPRD will be holding a protest tomorrow at Nellore.

Muralidharan

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