Savage times call for stringent measures.
Taking a lesson from the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student on a bus in Delhi, Dhanbad police have revived its anti-tease cell to make the state’s coal capital — a favourite haunt of tormentors with 32 cases being reported this year alone — safer for women.
The cell, which had been dormant for about a year, will henceforth function actively under the direct control of SP Ravi Kant Dhan and have regional offices in the three police subdivisions of Dhanbad, Jharia and Baghmara.
While the Dhanbad wing of the cell will function from the local Mahila Thana (women’s police station) under DSP (law and order) Amit Kumar, the second office will operate from Jharia police station under DSP (Sindri) Chadan Kumar Sinha. The third wing will function from Katras police station under DSP (Baghmara) Sanjeev Kumar.
Besides women constables, a lady officer of assistant sub-inspector rank will be deputed at each of these three subdivisional offices for effective monitoring of complaints.
Releasing mobile phone numbers of officers who will man the anti-tease cell, SP Dhan on Wednesday said victims could expect quick response when they dial in distress. “Complaints can be lodged from anywhere and even anonymously. A visit to the police station is not a must and identity of the complainant will be kept a secret if the person so desires,” the police chief said.
Further elaborating on the functioning of the cell, Baghmara DSP Kumar said their first objective was CBMs (confidence-building measures) through awareness programmes in schools and colleges. “Students will be told not to shy away, but approach police for help. They will be apprised of the services of the anti-tease cell and urged to report every incident of eve teasing. Police will extend every help possible to guarantee their safety,” he added.
According to the DSP, they had already prepared a list of government and private schools and colleges in Baghmara, Loyabad, Katras and Barora, where principals will be requested for special police pep talk sessions. “During the morning assembly, our officers can guide students on how to cope with and combat eve-teasing. They will be told where and how to lodge complaints without risking their life and limb,” he said.
Besides visiting a police station if circumstances permit, a victim can even dial and ask our officers to come home and take down their complaints. “If the victim doesn’t feel at ease with our male officers, they can request the presence of a woman officer before lodging a complaint at a police station or at home,” the DSP said, adding that ASI Victoria Toppo had been deputed for the Baghmara anti-tease cell.
Gripes can also be registered online at http://esamadhan.jhpolice.gov.in/ and response will be quick, the Dhanbad police have promised. “If need be, we will take help from our wompen officers to trap perpetrators of eve-teasing at vulnerable pockets like school and college areas,” the Baghmara DSP said.
Sindri DSP Chandan Sinha said policemen in plainclothes would be deputed near schools and colleges to keep an eye on predators. “Any objectionable word or action will invite immediate detention. Patrolling is also being increased near campuses, parks and picnic spots,” he added.
What should be the quantum of punishment for eve-teasing?