The new UT inspector general (IG) of police, RP Upadhyaya, in an interaction with students of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26 here, on Monday sent out a strong and clear message to anti-social elements in the city.
The top cop, saying that the police would not tolerate any "nonsense", reiterated SSP Naunihal Singh's appeal to girls to report incidents of sexual harassment. He explained to the girl students at the session that by not reporting incidents of sexual harassment, they were encouraging those committing the crime.
But the IG was soon put on the back foot during the session that was organised to improve interaction between the police and students. He was taken aback when Amit Kumar, a BSc student, questioned him about ambulances being stuck in traffic jams, while vehicles of VIPs easily got passage. The IG apologised for such behaviour of the police and said: "Steps would be taken to check such instances in future."
Another point the students raised was that when the SSP had interacted with them last year, girls had asked for a police control room (PCR) vehicle to be stationed outside the college in the morning and afternoon. A girl student said a PCR vehicle was stationed for a few days but the practice had been stopped now; she urged the two police officers to continue it.
Soon after, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Naunihal Singh intervened and asked for the question round to be over, though he said in a lighter vein: "Difficult questions have started. Let's end it here." He congratulated the students on asking the question.
SSP Naunihal Singh, not wanting his senior official to have a wrong impression, pitched in with humour: "Girls in this college are brave. The PCR vehicle was stationed for the safety of boys. However, if you want, we can continue with the practice for the safety of boys."
Girl students also pointed out that while travelling in buses, they faced sexual harassment and wanted more security in buses during peak hours.
The IG responded by saying that all such cases should be reported to ensure that corrective measures were taken. He told them that they could file complaints - through mail, post and even over the phone - against anti-social elements without revealing their identities.
Meanwhile, the SSP added that 331 calls of complaints regarding crimes against women had been received and 113 cases registered since October last year.
The IG also said that Chandigarh Police were geared up for Valentine's Day and Chandigarh Rose Festival. "All are allowed to enjoy. But, this time, those causing any trouble will be taken to task. Also, we will keep coming back for such interactions," he said.