Despite police’s tall claims, Noida continues to remain unsafe for women.
What is disturbing is that most cases of stalking and molestation have been reported from busy markets and residential areas. The situation has deteriorated to the extent that recently a Delhi Police constable was molested at a club in Sector 18.
People haven’t forgotten the gangrape of an MBA student in 2009. The woman was raped when she was returning from Great India Place, a mall located at a busy crossing in the city.
“I have stopped going out at night. We underwent a terrible ordeal once. We were returning from a late night movie and stopped to grab some street food. Five drunken men got down from their car and started abusing everyone. We tried to leave but they chased us. Finally, we had to make a PCR call,” said Arushi Chaturvedi, a resident of Sector 25.
Police say stalkers target women near busy market places or colonies as they can easily escape. Such is the situation that women don’t feel safe even during the day. "Though my house is near the Metro station, I prefer taking a rickshaw over walking those few metres. The area is really unsafe,” said Sampada Singh, a resident of Sector 19.
Noida’s women residents also pointed out the key areas where they felt vulnerable. These areas include Ganga Market in Sector 29, Sector 18 market, Rajnigandha Chowk and Indira Market in Sector 27, among others. Even residential sectors such as 12, 22, 19, 28, 27, 36, 32, 34, 37, 50 and 71 are vulnerable.
Sonali Lokhatia, a resident of Sector 31 said, “People park their cars near Brahmaputra market. They often put their hands out of the car, knowing we will pass by them and that they’ll be able to touch us. Even the nearby police post is of no use.”
Mili Sodhi, a resident of Sector 50, added, “Even in daytime, you can see bikers trying to misbehave with girls. Such incidents often happen outside schools.” Noida police are now trying to deploy more women cops on the street. “ We have increased the number of women cops and are trying to deploy them at prominent places like malls, markets and Metro stations.
A dedicated women police station has been formed. There are standing orders to register all cases from any woman and take immediate action,” said Jyoti Narayan, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police.