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People shy away from fighting crime against women: Kiran Bedi

The first woman IPS officer says the criminal justice system, police and the community are all to be blamed. Jaya Shroff reports.
Hindustan Times | By Jaya Shroff, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 01:48 AM IST

On Monday early morning, a gang of unruly men picked up a female call centre employee who was on her way home. She was not alone,a male colleague was escorting her,despite which, the hooligans committed the act without any fear of law.

Events like these are not uncommon on Delhi roads. Rapes, molestation cases, eve teasing are an everyday reality in the Capital. Delhi is unsafe for women and this is one fact nobody can dispute. It is a bitter reality most Delhi women have learnt to live with.

While some experts blame the hooliganism on roads to uncontrolled migration, some say it is only a perception. Some experts blame it on the porous borders Delhi shares with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. “In the four-five years, a lot has changed in Delhi. There has been a massive influx of people from all walks of life owing to emerging opportunities and considerable development. A lot of ruffian behaviour can be attributed to this new uneducated and illiterate class of people who commit the act, without any fear of the law,” says Barkha Singh, chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women.

Kiran Bedi , the first woman IPS officer says several factors that can be attributed to such anarchy on roads contributing to increasing sense of insecurity among women.

“The criminal justice system, police and the community are all to be blamed –– all have been apathetic to the plight of women.”

Bedi says that we, as a culture, are becoming indifferent. “Rather than coming forward to support the woman, we shy away from fighting out with the notorious elements.”

Agreeing with Bedi, former chairperson of DCW Kiran Walia says, “We are moving towards a time when staying indoors is certainly not a solution for women. Jobs in call centre, journalism, hospitality industry all require women to stay out late at work–– it is the duty of the state to provide security to its vulnerable population.”

Walia says that unless police vigilance is increased and steeper fines are imposed on the miscreants the situation will not change.

“There has to be an increased fear of the law. Unless the state does not step forward to put an iron hand on the offenders, women will continue to feel unsafe,” she adds.

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