Unlike Mumbaikars or Kolkatans, Delhiites do not react sharply to incidents of molestation and eve-teasing. This assessment has been made by Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta, who feels that active cooperation of the public is of “paramount importance” as there might not be adequate police presence at all places.
He made these comments in a letter written to a senior editor of a leading publication, seeking to dispel the impression that the Capital is unsafe for women. He also pointed out that the police was not the only stakeholder in preventing such crimes where the perpetrators are mostly known persons.
It is, in fact, a socio-cultural problem in which there a large part is played by the people themselves and the social fabric of a city, he wrote.
Gupta pointed out that in the November 2010 Dhaula Kuan rape case, the police had reacted very promptly and solved the case in a short time. “But it was the gross negligence on the part of the concerned BPO vehicle in dropping the girls late in the night at a distance from their residence,” he said.
In a metropolis like Delhi, he said, there were many reasons like unplanned urbanisation, overpopulation, lack of privacy, disparity in income, unemployment, consumerism and loosening of social control and family discipline behind cases of crime against women.
“Added to this is the impact of mass media and umpteen advertisements which sell a lifestyle that many want but cannot afford leading to crimes of various forms,” he said.