On uneven keel | india | Hindustan Times
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On uneven keel

Delhi Police claim they are just a call away. But where are they when you need them? Anoopam S Thapa probes.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2006 15:26 IST

The first day in college for many freshers was quite uneventful (no reports of eve-teasing — the usual hooting-ogling-loud com menting-whistling, etc), but it may not be smooth sailing for most of them in the days to come, keeping in mind the rising eveteasing cases.

And what is best to avoid such unpleasant and untoward incidents. Perhaps self help.

With you, not always

Though PCR vans are present in plenty on the campus, but more often than not, they don’t do the needful.
Another tall claim from Delhi Police — save a woman from shame and hurt, protect her, help someone in need — falls flat. Their helpline num bers are functional, but are ei ther engaged or there’s no re sponse.

Recounting the horrors of eve-teasing, Devika, who was chased by a group of men in a Scorpio from her residence in Panchsheel Marg all the way to her office in CP, on Tuesday, says, “It was a night mare for me.

I tried calling the PCR, but they put me on hold.” PCR putting the call on hold is unthinkable for a force which says, “With You, For You, Always.” Not really, though! The po lice finally swung into action af ter Devika called up her col league.

It was not a call that made the difference but the fact that Devika is a journal ist, working with a leading publication. It is an unfortunate incident, but surely not one of its kind. Adds JNU student Shruti, who had tried calling PCR on June 30, around midnight, after being harassed by an IITian in the campus.

“But it was of no use. They failed to pick the call and didn’t even bother to call back.”

Missing in action, not us

The police on the other hand say they are “just a call away.” DCP (Crime Against Women) KC Dwivedi says, “There’s a dedicated helpline for women, but it is also routed through PCR. If one lodges a complaint, a PCR van is deputed to attend to the complaint.”

But if that is the case, then why this delay in attending to complaint. He says, “Our department has just one car and a small workforce, so it’s a daunting task. When we get too many complaints, they are handled by the PCR.”

However, to check eve-teasing on campus, he says, “Police is well-prepared.” Let’s face the fact: Delhi isn’t safe for women and police inaction, makes the situation worse.

However, good news for freshers (at least the cops are watching), but for the rest, when in trouble, cross your fingers and dial 100 or 1091. Think of the best, the police coming to your rescue, but be prepared for the worst, your call may be put on hold.