Chandigarh police have blamed the thriving paying guest business in the city for the growing number of eve-teasing cases, which now are not related only to use of vulgar language but involve physical assault also, as demonstrated by two recent cases.
Police have registered about 15 cases of eve-teasing this year as compared to 20 in 2011. A study of eve-teasing cases reveals that most of these incidents take place outside schools and colleges. Rehri markets too are prone to eve-teasing incidents, with miscreants passing obscene remarks and even walking closer to girls in busy markets, senior officials said. Another common factor in eve-teasing cases is that most victims and the accused hail from places other than Chandigarh.
Apart from university and college campuses, premises for private tutorials too continue to be favoured spots for eve-teasers. A boom in local population leading to overloading of public transport too was seen as a contributory factor to eve-teasing cases. DSP (PCR) Roshan Lal says, "Girls waiting at bus stops and boarding buses become prey to eve-teasers. A majority of eve-teasing takes form of stalking and obscene remarks."
Markets prone to eve-teasing cases are the ones on 'geri' route cutting through Sector 8, 9, 10 and 11. Overcrowded Shastri market in Sector 22-C continues to breed eve- teasers, assert cops. Festivals and shopping fairs also witness eve-teasing incidents.
Profile of eve-teasers
Most eve-teasers were students hailing from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal. Police officials said the miscreants mostly zip around in their cars and pass vulgar remarks at passing girls. In some cases, colony residents too indulge in harassing girls moving at late night hours, asserted police officials.
Silence encourages eve-teasers
SP city Des Raj said most victims did not come forward to get cases registered against their tormentors for fear of public humiliation and need to get their kin involved. They prefer to suffer in silence than come out in the open, with the result that eve-teasers were encouraged.
Police also believe that attitude of many men remains unchanged though dressing sense has undergone a sea change over the years.
Elaborating, a police official said that some eve- teasers believed that girls wearing revealing outfits were of easy virtue. Most outsiders were awestruck by the openness displayed by city girls through their selection of outfits.
Sector 3 police station SHO Neeraj Sarna said that outstation youth try to take advantage of this openness and end up indulging in eve-teasing.The discotheque culture too had a role to play in increasing eve-teasing cases, he claimed and added that girls frequenting late night joints became easy prey for obvious reasons. Also at the receiving ends were girls working late duty hours and in call centres.
Young women become more assertive
Many victims of eve-teasing have over the years stopped taking such incidents lying down also. DSP (crime) Satbir Singh maintained that though eve-teasing was a problem in the past too, physical assault was not reported, as has been the case in recent incidents.
Some girls react to eve-teasing by raising voice or even using abusive language against miscreants. It hurts the male ego and the miscreants end up assaulting the victims, he said. Another officer said that many men still view women as inferior to them and cannot tolerate any reactions from them.