The Bolgatanga Municipal Police Command has arrested 26 market women for not abiding by social distancing order to demonstrate against the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly.
The women were also beaten by police officers on orders of the Bolgatanga Municipal Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Richard Anaba Salifu.
The market women, numbering over 100, took to the street on Monday morning to demonstrate against the assembly’s decision to relocate sellers of cereals from the Bolgatanga new market to the old market.
The authorities said the old market was spacious enough to contain the traders and ensure social distancing though the traders disagreed with the assessment.
One of the women, who said she was pregnant, said the police didn’t listen to her pleas and assaulted her.
“On my way to the market to buy things I saw these market women demonstrating so I joined them in the process. So one policeman arrested me and started beating me up.
“I told him I was pregnant but he won’t listen he was still beating me and brought me to the police station,” she recounted.
“They got up today and asked that we should move to the old market because of social distancing but if we move there to add up to those already there. We would still be prone to the COVID-19,” another woman complained.
“So, we said the assembly should allow us to do our business and observe the preventive measures. We then decided to march to the MCE to appeal to him to come to our aid but were met by police and soldiers who beat us up and arrested some of our members,” she added.
Chief Supt. Richard Anaba Salifu said the 26 arrested suspects will be arraigned at the Bolgatanga High Court.
He noted that the order to beat the women was because they were not responding to the instruction from police.
“I told them to disperse with the hope that they will comply and they were not budging and they were still trying to move forward so I ordered my men to whip them and as many, as we could, we arrested them so we processed them for court.”
“It was when we started the whipping them and arresting them that they started dispersing,” he added.