"Eve teasers are all around and target everyone from schoolgirls to college goers. Only the police are unable to see them. But, we have learnt to live with it now." This is how Komal summed up the attack on her by a group of youngsters outside her college in government college sector 42 on Wednesday.
Recounting the horrific incident, Komal said the boys even tried to pull her in their car after she reacted to their vulgar gestures. "Boys pick their targets indiscriminately and go around teasing girls unchallenged. Motorcyclists make rounds of street around the bus stop of our college and even though they are rarely wearing helmets, police doesn't check them," she complained.
Admitted to the Sector-16 government multi-specialty hospital with head injuries suffered in the attack, Komal, a final year student, questioned why the law violators went unchecked. "The least the police can do is question the boys for making these rounds. Eve teasing is rampant, boys use filthy language and hurl abuses at us. Most of the times we ignore such things, as we know it is a norm," said Komal.
Saying that she ignored the eve teasers, Komal narrated how her attempts were met with hostile reaction and the boys not only tried to pull her in the car but also hit her on the head.
Komal's assertions are significant as they bring to fore rampant hooliganism in the city. Over the past few months, the Chandigarh Police have tried to step up their tirade against eve teasing by deploying women constables. But surprisingly, women cops too had found themselves face to face with such incidents.
"Such incidents shows that more than foot patrolling by the police is required to deal with the menace," says Komal. Offering a solution, she says only severe punishment can deter the eve teasers.
Girls must speak up: SSP
On an average, three incidents of eve teasing are reported to Chandigarh Police each month, though the number would be much higher as incidents go unreported. Terming it as a 'conspiracy of silence', DSP (PCR) Roshan Lal says girls prefer to suffer in silence. This way they indirectly embolden the eve teasers and encourage them to strike again. UT SSP Naunihal Singh says, "It is for the women to rise for their rights and protest against such actions. The menace is being seen very seriously and strategies are being worked out to check the problem and make the city further safe for girls." Meanwhile, the Sector 42 college authorities held a meeting with the Chandigarh police to apprise them of the ground reality.
Do's and don'ts
Avoid taking deserted roads, especially late at night
Wear helmets for more safety
Note registration numbers of eve teasers' vehicles, report to police
Outside colleges, walk in groups
Third accused held
Meanwhile, the third accused involved in Wednesday incident was also arrested. Giving details, Sector 36 police station SHO Bhupinder Singh said Karan was arrested from his Sector 20 house. The 22-year-old Karan was unemployed, he said. The other two arrested on Wednesday were Lakhbir Singh of Sector 21 and Kushwinder Singh of Sector 20, both pursuing an IELTS course. However, even though the accused had tried to kidnap Komal, the police did not press any serious charges against them.