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Women dread lonely walks

delhi Updated: May 26, 2013 02:05 IST
Faizaan Haider
Faizaan Haider
Hindustan Times
sexual harassment

Walking on a road alone makes a woman more vulnerable to sexual harassment compared to making a trip to the market or travelling in the Metro or even standing at a bus stop in the Capital.

A survey conducted by Delhi police on cases of molestation has revealed that of 1,282 reported cases of molestation this year (till April 30), nearly 40% took place on roads.

Senior Delhi police officers said they had initiated the exercise to identify areas where women are more vulnerable to sexual harassment and accordingly plan a strategy and take corrective measures.

The details of the places where cases of molestation were reported were taken and it was found that 468 incidents took place when the woman was walking on the road. "While nearly 200 took place inside the house, 91 molestation cases were reported from offices. Delhi Metro trains and bus stops turned out to be safest places. Markets also are relatively safer," a senior police officer, requesting anonymity, said.

In the first four months of the year, 35 cases of molestation were reported while in the Metro only three cases of molestations and four cases of eve-teasing have been reported.

Similarly, cases of eve teasing were also reported mostly from roads. The analysis has also revealed that the general public did a commendable job of nabbing the accused in several cases of molestation and eve-teasing on roads.

Another survey conducted by an NGO has also revealed that women feel safer at crowded places. According to the survey, presence of vendors and hawkers make women feel safe in a public area. Many women are also of the opinion that vendors should be allowed on roads as otherwise the entire stretch becomes deserted.

At the same time, poorly-lit stretches and parks, narrow footpaths, etc., make women feel insecure and vulnerable.

"The survey helped us understand the problem. We have also collected police station-wise details and will now deploy staff in these areas. Presence of more men in uniform will make women feel safer. We are also in touch with Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) so that they can also do patrolling to make women feel safe," the officer added.