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Safety still a far-off dream

- Horrific Delhi rape recalled with rally push for police vigil

A women’s outfit led a rally near East Singhbhum district collectorate at Sakchi, Jamshedpur, to mark the tragic first anniversary of the Delhi gang rape on Monday and protest against girls subjected to lewd taunts near cradles, roads or picnic spots.

Some 300 women of All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan, a women outfit linked to SUCI, demonstrated near the district collectorate for over an hour.

The women also submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner (DC) Amitabh Kaushal on rising incidents of eve-teasing in the city.

“We get around four or five complaints every month from students and women on eve teasing and sexual harassment near educational institutions. The administration’s assurance of deputing policemen near schools, colleges and coaching hubs rings hollow. Irregular patrol increases the impunity of eve-teasers. We have warned the DC that if policemen are not deputed we will resort to agitation and roadblocks,” said the Sangathan’s district outfit secretary Chandana Banerjee.

Members claimed spots near Jamshedpur Women’s College in Bistupur, Telco square and Aam Bagan, Sakchi, with a large number of coaching institutions did not have police presence.

They also wanted the administration to depute the police on regular patrol at popular picnic haunts, especially in winter.

Most popular picnic spots such as Dimna Lake, Hudco Lake and Narwapahar (near Jadugora) are on city outskirts. And yes, after sundown, no one can vouch for their safety quotient.

“There are hardly any policemen in these spots. There have been incidents of assault on women in the past, but not much has changed. The presence of police will instil a sense of safety among women,” added Banerjee.

The delegation also called for hearing of cases related to atrocities against women, including molestation and rape, in fast-track courts for early penalty to the accused and deputation of mahila police at all thanas to facilitate lodging of such cases without fear or awkwardness.

“We have instructed all police stations to carry out regular patrol near educational institutions frequented by women. I have asked SSP (Amol V. Homkar) to intensify patrol. Police will be deployed at picnic spots in and around the city,” DC Kaushal told Sangathan members.

Earlier in the day, the Sangathan members took out a rally from Aam Bagan in Sakchi carrying placards decrying atrocities against women and passed Sakchi Chowk before culminating near the district collectorate.

The delegation will meet East Singhbhum SSP Homkar next week with their women’s safety demands.