Ranchi, Aug. 31: Jharkhand High Court today directed the state government to form committees at every locality to check eve-teasing in the capital.
Referring to such outfits as “special mohalla committees”, the court suggested senior citizens like retired professors, doctors, advocates besides women of respective localities be made members of the association. It further suggested that the administration ought to put up hoardings, mentioning phone numbers of local police stations and senior police officers who can be accessed immediately by any girl in distress.
A division bench of Justices Narendra Nath Tiwari and P.P. Bhatt issued the orders while hearing a PIL on eve-teasing initiated suo motu in September 2011.
The court also asked advocate-general R.S. Majumdar to ensure that effective police patrolling was carried out in neighbourhoods housing educational and coaching institutes. Police vans should not merely drive down the roads, the court was categorical. Policemen should come out and check that no girl and woman is harassed on the streets. The bench asked the state to file a counter affidavit and inform about the measures being undertaken in this regard.
Advocate-general Majumdar informed the court that the administration had already held a meeting and decided to task peace committees, which already exist in some areas, to curb eve-teasing incidents. Comprising local residents, such committees usually ensure peace is maintained among communities during festivals.
However, the high court did not buy the idea. It specifically said that special mohalla committees should be formed for the purpose.
“A girl who has been troubled should be comfortable enough to approach the committee that can take up the matter with local police,” the court observed.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation’s CEO Dipankar Panda, who was present in the court, informed that a drive had been initiated to check whether hostels and lodges had proper licences and adhered to other norms.
Yesterday, the court had observed that Ranchi roads were crowded and girls feel insecure. It was high time that the administration took steps.