At 9:30 pm on Tuesday, Varsha (name changed), a resident of Punjab, and her husband were allegedly thrashed by auto drivers outside Guru Dronacharya Metro station. Not a single policeman came to her help though she kept redialling the police control room number.
For commuters like Varsha, security outside metro stations in Gurgaon remains a concern. Tuesday’s incident was the latest of many such instances and points to the lack of security outside metro stations during evening hours. The inadequately-lit roads only makes matters worse.
“I had boarded an autorickshaw when some auto drivers came and started roughing up my auto driver, accusing him of ferrying passengers out of turn. When I and my husband tried to intervene, the auto drivers attacked us,” Varsha said.
The ruckus that followed lasted more than an hour. But, in all that time, not a single policeman turned up, despite the woman calling the emergency numbers several times.
The Punjab-bound couple and their friends left, leaving behind them several autorickshaws and after having allegedly chased away all drivers and roadside vendors.
In a recent safety audit conducted by Safetipin — an organisation that collates data on cities on various safety parameters— no Metro station, other than the one on MG Road, scored an average of more than 2 out of 5, with five being “the most safe”. Iffco Chowk Metro station scored the lowest with an average score of only 1.5, followed by the Huda City Centre station with an average of 1.7.
According to metro commuters, there are many dark and deserted stretches around stations. Also, last-mile connectivity is poor and police presence low.
“There is very little security around metro stations. CISF officials keep a strict vigil inside the stations but once one steps out, there is no security at all. Last-mile connectivity is also a problem,” said Niharika Wali, an MNC employee.
The Mehrauli-Gurgaon road (MG Road), which has three metro stations, is infamous for anti-social activities, drunken brawls, cases of molestation.
“There are so many instances where I was followed by a drunk man or when a random person passed a lewd comment on me. I cannot shout back and raise my voice. With no policemen around, all I can hope for is a safe ride back to my place,” said Priyanka Sehgal, a daily commuter.
Though police is deployed on MG road, they is not able to cover the entire stretch. The deployment is generally more concentrated towards the MG road metro station, as it has a higher footfall and is located close to malls.
Recently, Gurgaon police started a night-patrolling exercise but that remains confined to areas with malls.
“We do patrolling in the night. We try to keep a watch on every nook and corner,” said additional commissioner of police Hawa Singh