Trouble brews at popular hangout zone
The area around Priya Cinema in Vasant Vihar is one of Delhi’s most popular ‘hangouts’. But it’s becoming something of a trouble spot, regulars say. The reason: Increasing harassment of women in the poorly-lit parking lots, and drunken late night brawls outside pubs.delhi Updated: Jun 20, 2009 23:48 IST
The area around Priya Cinema in Vasant Vihar is one of Delhi’s most popular ‘hangouts’.
But it’s becoming something of a trouble spot, regulars say. The reason: Increasing harassment of women in the poorly-lit parking lots, and drunken late night brawls outside pubs.
One of the attendants, who didn’t wish to be named, said things become especially tough on Saturdays. Many people drink and misbehave with whoever met their eye. Women are best not seen unaccompanied, he added.
Turquoise Cottage started a valet parking service for women after the management heard several complaints about parking from female patrons.
Said owner Gaurav Soral, “Lot of womenfolk have complained about bad behaviour. And since we get a lot of ladies coming by themselves we have to make sure they are safe. The parking doesn’t have proper lighting and I’ve heard it’s become a gathering point of trouble-makers.”
Lekha Mohan, a frequent visitor to the complex said she has faced problems thrice herself.
“Walking alone post 11 pm towards or from the parking is a nightmare. There are all kinds of weird men standing around looking at you. On two occasions, despite my trying to ignore them, they wouldn’t stop saying very insulting things. But should I stop hanging out at my favourite places, because of them?” Mohan visits Priya at least thrice a week. “I’ve been followed home at least thrice and have had to call the cops,” said this corporate trainer with a telecom company.
Sonali Sharma, (name changed on request) who works with a travel and tour company, said: “I daren’t go to that parking without any male friends. I can’t forget that night, when boys chased me first till the car and even after that.”
However the police said they haven’t got any complaints, “We haven’t received any complaints of brawls or fights happening in that area. We take safety of women seriously and if anyone faces any problems they can approach the police post at the market complex,” said a senior police officer not authorised to speak to the media.