Tall claims of UT police on action against eve-teasers notwithstanding, its dedicated helpline for women 1091 is hard to reach to the extent of being impossible. All one needs is to be lucky and using the right service provider to be able to reach out to the women and child complaint centre.
Attempts made by the Hindustan Times to get in touch with cops on 1091 proved to be a fruitless task. Calls made from the fixed line are met with a busy tone and the attempt to access the 1091 helpline from Idea cellular phones too met the same fate. Only Airtel or Vodafone consumers can be lucky as the calls get through to the helpline.
But, the same is not the case with other police helplines. Both the numbers 1090 (senior citizen) and 1073 (traffic) are functional, with the call getting connected. The 1091 helpline is being looked after by the women and child support unit. Officials say the intention behind launching the round-the-clock helpline was to enable victims seek the assistance of police in case of trouble. The helpline number was in fact being handled by women cops, so that women were able to discuss their issues comfortably.
The number was propagated as an alternative to 100 for the victims of eve-teasing or domestic violence. However, a senior police officer said victims were still calling 100 instead of 1091, as the number was easier on recall.
UT police petitioned
Perturbed over the increasing number of eve-teasing cases, city girls have started an online petition that has been joined by 100 women from all over the country in just about 24 hours. The petition will be submitted to UT SSP Naunihal Singh, urging him to take remedial measures to deal with the menace.
The petition reads: "Chandigarh seems to be developing into a city where eve-teasing and attacks on women are on a constant rise but is not being given enough attention by the concerned authorities. It's time to raise a voice and demand better policing and effective complaint redressal mechanism. With a police beat-box in every sector, there is no reason that such crimes should be happening in broad daylight in a planned city like Chandigarh".
It further stated that the Chandigarh police should work towards a fully reachable 24x7 helpline for women attended by sensitive police officers so that communication can be easier and supportive.