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Police officer 'slaps' woman during anti-liquor protest; sparks outrage

Police officer slaps woman during anti-liquor protest; sparks outrage
A senior police officer was caught on camera slapping a woman protester during an agitation for closure of a state-owned liquor outlet near Coimbatore, sparking outrage and condemnation.

Following the incident last evening, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday ordered closure of the outlet in Tirupur district and an inquiry.

The incident occurred in Shamalpuram, about 20 km from Tirupur, when a group of people, including women, blocked a road demanding closure of the TASMAC liquor outlet that was relocated to their locality consequent to the Supreme Court ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of the highways.

As the protesters refused to disperse, Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police Pandiarajan slapped one of the women and pushed two others, asking them to move away from the road.

Protesting this, a section of the agitators allegedly pelted stones at the police, who then resorted to lathi charge to disperse them.

Police said three persons were injured in the melee with one of them being hospitalised.

As the video showing the act went viral, various political parties, including DMK, condemned the 'police brutality'.

Shops in the locality remained shut on Wednesday in protest against the police action.

The incident came up in the Madras High Court when social activist Traffic Ramaswamy and PMK's legal wing member K Balu, made a special mention and sought action against the police officer.

When the petitions came up for hearing before a bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, state Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy submitted that action was being initiated against the erring police officer and an inquiry had been ordered.
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