Hyderabad Metro Rail to allow women to carry pepper spray for self-defence
Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited authorities on Wednesday announced that women travelling in metro trains in the city can hereafter carry pepper spray with them for self-defence.
The decision was taken in the wake of the latest incident of a 26-year old veterinarian who was allegedly raped and murdered on the outskirts of Hyderabad last week.
HMR managing director NVS Reddy said in a media communique that instructions have been issued to security personnel to allow women to carry pepper spray for their safety.
“Queries are being raised regarding allowing girls and ladies to carry pepper spray in Hyderabad metro trains as a self defence mechanism as is being allowed in Bengaluru metro rail. Instructions have been issued to our security personnel to permit this in our metro trains,” Reddy said.
Hitherto, carrying pepper spray was disallowed in metro trains on the grounds of fire safety. “We shall keep a strict vigil in the metro stations to ensure safety of women,” a metro rail official said.
Meanwhile, following instructions from chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, a group of ministers and officials held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss measures to be taken for safety of women and children in the state.
It was decided to direct all the police stations to register any complaint of missing women and children immediately on receipt, without bothering about jurisdictions (zero FIR). The cops should immediately swing into action to trace the missing people.
The meeting decided to strengthen the various police helplines including control room and Hawk Eye mobile application and carry out vigorous awareness campaign on the ways to use those facilities when needed. These helpline numbers will be prominently displayed in all educational institutions from primary schools to colleges, all government offices, public transport vehicles, autos, cabs and the like.
The government also decided to evolve a system for inculcating moral values and ethics among children about respecting a girl/woman from the primary school level itself by bringing a special/extra curriculum on moral values in coordination with She-Teams (dedicated teams for protection of women from harassment). Students participating in these classes will be given certificates.