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Is Delhi really safe for women?

New Delhi: The incident of rape in which a 23-year-old para-medical student was gangraped in a moving bus and brutally assaulted on Sunday has once again highlighted the issue of women safety in the national capital.

Every member of the civil society today is asking a question from those who are responsible for providing a safe and congenial environment to the people of Delhi- Are the common citizens especially woman safe here?

Rapes in moving vehicles in Delhi
  • 4 cases already reported this year
  • 2001: Woman gangraped in moving Blueline bus
  • 2003: Filmmaker abducted, raped by two men in a moving car in South Delhi
  • 2005: DU student raped in a moving car by four men near Dhaula Kuan
  • 2006: Class 12 girl raped by four young men in West Delhi
  • 2010: Two women working in a factory raped by four men in North Delhi
  • 2010: BPO employee gangraped for 40 minutes in a moving vehicle
  • 2011: Class 10 student of Gurgaon abducted and raped in South Delhi
  • 2012: Minor travelling with her two friends abducted at gunpoint, raped in moving car
  • 2012: Girl employed with a Delhi Jal Board call centre gangraped by eight men on the outskirts of Faridabad
  • 2012: Five men allegedly assaulted, robbed and gangraped a woman in a car while she was returning home in North Delhi
  • 2012: Girl gangraped by seven people in a luxury bus

Keeping their safety in mind, women folks prefer to take chartered buses, autorickshaws and taxis to commute rather than public transports during evening hours. An official data released by the Delhi Police on December 17 suggests that as many as 10 rape incidences took place in moving vehicles over the past 10 years. This year alone, four such incidents were reported. In an appalling revelation, the police report suggests that 580 females were sexually assaulted this year. It is more shocking to know that three rape cases have been registered during past 36 hours.

Today women in the national capital find it really difficult to commute in public transports fearing the problem of eve teasing, abusive comments etc. Farhat Jabeen, who works as a journalist said “It is really scary to travel in buses alone during evening hours in some parts of South Delhi.”

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has assured that CCTVs will be installed inside DTC buses. While a proposal to this effect was made a year ago, the transport authority is yet to take any concrete step in this direction.

This lackluster attitude of the government is probably the reason behind rising crimes against women in the city. I don’t find Delhi a safe city to live in now, it is not easy to move out alone in the day either. I myself at numerous occasions have confronted bad experiences, says Deblina a working professional.

Parents are now scared to leave their daughters alone. I never allow my daughter to step out for anything in the evening hours, says Manju resident of Jamia Nagar. These reactions clearly indicate that the people of the country have completely lost faith in the government which has nothing to do with the safety and security of women.

It’s high time the government wakes up from slumber and does something concrete to make the women feel safe in the city and help them believe that the government is adamant to keep such heinous crimes under check.

(Anita Raj/JPN)

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