In MP, ‘harassed’ girls have no faith in police: Activists
More and more girls, who faced sexual harassment, are losing faith in Madhya Pradesh Police and taking extreme step of ending life, activists said on Tuesday.
In the past one month, three such incidents were reported from Bundelkhand, Gwalior and Chambal regions.
The activists said victims of sexual harassment were losing faith in police because most of the times they faced equal trauma while lodging a complaint.
A 15-year-old girl committed suicide in Bhind district’s Badera village on December 4 after being sexually harassed and threatened by a man. Her family lodged a complaint against Komal Singh, but the girl took the extreme step after Singh threatened her family over approaching police.
On December 21, a 18-year-old girl committed suicide in Gwalior district’s Hazira area as she was regular harassment by a group of men in her locality. Her family said she chose to kill self rather approaching to police.
On December 24, a 15-year-old girl immolated self following harassment by six of her schoolmates in Chhatarpur district. The victim’s father said her daughter was harassed her schoolmates, including a girl. She also chose not lodge a police complaint.
Recalling her story, a 18-year-old girl said she narrowly escaped a Nirbhaya-like nightmare in December last year by jumping from a running bus in Bhopal.
“I had called police but I didn’t lodge any complaint as faced questions like what kind of comments people were passing in the bus, why did you board the bus so late in the night and many others,” said the journalism student.
“With volley of questions, I felt that I did a mistake. In such condition, no girl will dare to go to police,” she said.
Sarika Sinha of ActionAid said: “Many times girls don’t come forward due to stigmatisation. Instead of girls, perpetrators should be stigmatised. Only then, girls will dare to come out to lodge complaint.”
‘Police have been given strict order to act swiftly in such cases’
Madhya Pradesh Police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla said, “Police have been given strict order to act swiftly in such cases but girls have to come forward to lodge a complaint.”
“If they are feeling shy in visiting police station, they can lodge a complaint over phone to women helpline and their name will not be disclosed. They can call directly to Nirbhaya Patrolling Mobile Service. We are creating awareness among girls.”
Retired IPS officer Arun Gurtoo said, “Police are putting a lot of effort but there is a need to reform working style of police. Many times, police personnel feel that as girls are roaming around freely, they are responsible for provocation. That attitude needs to be changed.”
MP reported 4,391 rape cases in 2015
According to NCRB report, Madhya Pradesh in 2015 reported 4,391 rape cases -- the highest in the country. The state also reported 12,887 sexual offences cases.