A court in the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga has granted a ¢5,000 bail to 27 women who defied Covid-19 safety protocols to stage a demonstration Monday.
They will reappear before the court on May 25, 2020, Municipal Police Commander for Bolgatanga, Chief Superintendent Richard Anaba Salifu, said in an interview.
The suspects have been charged for flouting an Executive Order on ban on social gatherings.
The market women were arrested following chaotic scenes at the Bolgatanga market after some traders staged a demonstration to protest against the Municipal Assembly over a planned decongestion exercise.
The exercise, according to the Assembly, was to protect the traders and the Municipality from a possible spread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
But the women, numbering about 100, took to the streets to kick against what they claim, is a deliberate attempt to relocate cereal sellers from the Bolgatanga new market to the old one.
Armed police officers were later called to the scene to restore calm amid firing of gunshots.
“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,” one of the protesters told the CNR.
“That place cannot be used for our business unlike that of Kumasi and Accra; the Assembly should come and explain. Why are we being treated like this?” another said.
Reacting to claims however, Chief Superintendent Richard Anaba Salifu justified the action by the police.
He said: “We fired rubber bullets and that was fired in the air to disperse the crowd 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.