It’s not just outside bars or during a leisurely walk to home that robbers and rapists in Gurgaon are targeting women. The high-speed Delhi-Gurgaon expressway is another place where they lurk in corners to prey on women.
HT did a reality check along the 18-km stretch of the E-way — from the Delhi- Gurgaon border toll plaza to the Kherki Dhaula toll plaza — and found it is left unattended, posing a risk to thousands of women who pass through it in cars or autos.
Of the 43 PCR vans with the Gurgaon police, only about half-a-dozen care to venture out in the darkness.
“I was driving back home on the E-way around 10:30pm on February 23 when drunken men in a car chased me and threw a beer bottle at my window,” narrated 37-year-old Rajdeep Kaur, a corporate trainer.
Though Kaur’s is not a one-off incident, DCP (Crime) Maheswar Dayal brushes aside the allegation of ‘poor policing’. “We constantly patrol the E-way and have put boards displaying our control room numbers. We have deployed bike-borne constables as well,” he claimed.
The problem on the E-way goes beyond just poor policing. In the absence of adequate transport facilities, thousands of women board random private cabs and buses, unwittingly exposing themselves to criminals.
“I have been travelling in such cabs for four years as few government-run buses ply on this route and those which do, do not stop as there is no bus shelter,” complained 25-year-old Priya, who waits for cabs at Shankar Chowk to go back home to Delhi every day.
Haryana state transport secretary Rajan Bhagat passed the buck: “It’s a law and order problem.”
There are at least five points on the E-way where private buses and cabs stop for passengers, though it is illegal to stop unless one has valid reasons like a flat tyre or petrol shortage. This is where cabbie gangs have been found to be active.
DCP, Traffic, Bharti Arora could not be reached for any comment.