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Rights panel directs policeman to pay compensation to sex worker

K.T. Sangameswaran

Told to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation to sex worker

CHENNAI: The State Human Rights Commission has recommended that a police Head Constable, who beat up a sex worker for refusing to have sex with him, should pay her Rs.10,000 as compensation.

In his order, the Commission's acting chairperson, Justice S. Thangaraj, said the Tamil Nadu Government should pay the compensation and recover it from the policeman's salary.

Doctor's statement

Mr. Justice Thangaraj said the doctor who treated the woman found a "swelling over the middle of the right forearm with an abrasion 3 cm x 2 cm."

Lakshmi of Tiruttani had complained to the Commission that after Jayavel, a Head Constable of Tiruttani police station, beat her, she was admitted to Government Hospital, Tiruttani.

She submitted that she was secretary of the "Protection of Health care for Women" and campaigned for the protection of sex workers and their rehabilitation. Denying that he had assaulted her, Jayavel said three cases under Section 8 (b) of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act had been filed against Lakshmi and she had paid the fine. The complaint was to "wreak vengeance."

Deserves compassion

In his order, Mr. Justice Thangaraj said, "Even a prostitute shall have her dignity."

He pointed out that the Supreme Court had said that women in the flesh trade should be treated with humanity and compassion.

The chairperson said a social activist had witnessed the assault. Another witness saw the complainant with a bleeding injury. Considering the circumstances, it was clear that the assault had taken place, the chairperson said, and awarded the compensation.

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