Recently a college student had to jump off a bus recently due to extreme harassment. Unrestrained harassment and eve-teasing in DTC buses have led the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) take suo moto cognisance of media reports regarding the same.
Delhi University student had to jump off a DTC bus
In a recent incident, a 19-year-old Delhi University student was allegedly harassed by a man near South Delhi’s South Extension, which forced her to jump out of the moving bus. The student’s trauma was revealed by her cousin in a series of tweets, where she claimed that the victim has already been “molested seven times” on the same route in three months.
She said in her tweets how the victim had once forced a molester out of the bus, only to find the man the next day on the same bus, The Times of India reported.
“She told me of this breed of molesters who travel on route 544 plying from South Ex specifically because that bus carries young girls on their way to college – Kamala Nehru and Gargi,” the victim’s cousin tweeted.
A harasser’s haven, the buses on route 544 is a woman’s nightmare. It has become a routine for the daily travelling women to face harassment, lewd comments, molestation and stalking. Incidentally, they often have to get down at random stops and wait for a different bus to escape harassers.
No police personnel in the buses
Besides raising questions on issues like lack of adequate number of buses during rush hour as well as lack of women-only buses on essential routes, DCW has also set up an inquiry issuing a notice to Delhi Police and the transport department, seeking an answer as to why there is no deployment of marshals in buses and why CCTV cameras have not been installed. There were no cops present in the bus during several of these unfortunate incidents.
Rajni Kumari, a second-year student of Kamala Nehru College, says she hardly ever sees policemen in any of these buses. “I commute daily in the same route, but I have seen cops just twice or thrice,” she told The Times of India.
“We have deployed teams on several bus routes and women police personnel have also been deployed on the route to ensure the safety of women commuters,” said Madhur Verma, DCP New Delhi, and spokesperson of the Delhi Police.
Attempt to resolve the issues
The transport commissioner will now have to provide details regarding issues such as reasons for the lapses, deployment of police personnel in these buses and installation of CCTV cameras. Detailed timelines to resolve all these issues have been sought by DCW, reported The Times of India.
Delhi Police has sought information about steps taken by police to ensure the safety and comfort of women in DTC buses as well as about actions taken on the incidents. The transport commissioner and DCP (southeast) have to submit the reply to DCW till October 10.
Delhi is already considered one of the most unsafe places for women. Public transport cannot be avoided because it is absolutely necessary to commute on a daily basis. Only law and order can erase or at least reduce the fear that has naturally been embedded in the minds of women. Women are in constant terror of harassment. It is time for police and authorities to take strict action against culprits and ensure safety for women.