In an appalling incident in Nellore, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department’s Deputy Manager C Bhaskar assaulted Usharani, a woman colleague, in the office with a thick wooden stick. The incident was caught on CCTV camera, and Bhaskar has been suspended, an official from the Tourism Department told TNM.
The shocking visuals show Bhaskar walking into a room, and then lunging towards Usha, who is sitting behind a desk in the right corner of the frame. He pulls her by her hair, making her fall to the ground. Bhaskar is then seen grabbing something from the adjacent desk and hitting Usha, who is still on the floor with Bhaskar restraining her by her hair.
Hearing the commotion, people rush into the room. An elderly man runs in to stop a violent Bhaskar. In the scuffle, he too falls to the floor, and Bhaskar picks up a thick wooden stick to hit Usha with. Another woman employee at the scene leaves, with her hands pressed to her ears. All through, Bhaskar hits Usha with the stick on her back, and she can be seen trying to protect herself with her hands. Finally, a second man rushes into the frame, trying to restrain Bhaskar, and takes the weapon from him.
A shocked Usha - who is wearing a mask - is seen sitting on the floor, gathering herself, even as Bhaskar points at her and is seen mouthing something. Eventually he walks out of the room with the other men. Usha is left alone.
Watch the video of the assault. Trigger warning
The incident occurred on June 27 at 12.30 pm at AP Tourism Hotel, Dargamitta, Nellore city. It was reported to the police on the same day at 3 pm. According to the FIR registered in Dargamitta police station, C Bhaskar held a grudge against Usharani. A few months ago, he was allegedly "spreading rumours" about her character. Usharani had chastised Bhaskar about the same, along with her husband. On the day of the incident, Usharani had reportedly asked Bhaskar to wear a mask, after she saw him without one, while he was speaking to a senior accountant. This allegedly angered Bhaskar and he assaulted her.
"Then the accused C Bhaskar, who had previous enmity with the complainant, abused her in filthy language, dragged her from the chair by caught hold of her tuft, then he assaulted over her face and head with a stick to the wooden chair and also insulted her in the public place before others," adds the FIR, a copy of which has been seen by TNM.
The Nellore police said that Bhaskar has been arrested and is being sent for judicial remand.
A case vide Crime No 362/2020 u/s 354, 355 and 324 IPC was booked on 27.06.2020.
The accused was arrested and is being sent for judicial remand.
Nellore District Police is extremely sensitive to any violation or crime against women.
Women Safety is our top priority.
— Nellore Police (@sp_nlr) June 30, 2020
According to the FIR, the eyewitnesses who can be seen in the video are Swarnalatha, Hymavathi, Narasimharao and Ravi. The FIR has been registered under sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Apart from his arrest and suspension, an enquiry has also been initiated against Bhaskar. “Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department Managing Director Praveen Kumar has suspended the official who attacked a woman employee following the directions from the minister concerned. A departmental enquiry has been initiated against him. Following the enquiry, further action will be taken," an official from the department said.