Told to wear mask, Andhra tourism officer assaults woman; arrested

The accused, C Bhaskar allegedly assaulted the woman, dragged her from her chair, caught hold of her hair and beat her on her face and head with a stick, just because she told him to wear a mask

Photo: Screengrab from ANI video/Twitter

Police officials in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district on Tuesday (June 30) arrested a senior employee of the state tourism department for beating a woman colleague with a stick for asking him to wear a face mask as part of COVID-19 norms.

The incident happened at AP Tourism Hotel at Dargamitta in Nellore town on Saturday (June 28) afternoon, came to light today when a video footage from the CCTV cameras of the hotel went viral on social media.

The accused, C Bhaskar, working as deputy manager at the AP Tourism Hotel has been arrested and sent in judicial remand. A case was booked against him under Section 354 (assaulting a woman intending to outrage her modesty), 355 (using force to dishonour a person) and 324 (causing injuries using a weapon), said Dargamitta sub-inspector of police K Venugopal

A tweet from the Nellore police department said that the Nellore district police are extremely sensitive to any violation or crime against women. According to the police, Bhaskar had previous enmity against the 43-year-old woman, who is a contractual employee with the department.

On June 28, during office hours, the woman suggested that he wear a mask due to the COVID-19 situation.

Enraged at the comment, Bhaskar allegedly abused her, dragged her from her chair, caught hold of her hair and started beating her on her face and head with a stick pulled out from a wooden chair, according to ANI.

Though other colleagues tried to stop him from assaulting her, he kept beating her. Later, the woman, with the help of other colleagues, lodged a complaint with the police.

The Andhra Pradesh director general of police (DGP) Gautam Sawang directed the Disha police station to take up the investigation into the Nellore tourism hotel incident and file the charge sheet within one week.

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