What a shockingly shameful way to prevent rape! (India)

Posted on April 9, 2012

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Source:Daily Bhaskar

Women, venture out the door at your own risk after 8pm. Blame not the police if vagabonds drag you inside their vans and molest you — This seems to be the message of the Gurgaon Police to all ladies staying in the city, and to all those daily woman commuters who come here to earn their livelihood.

Washing its hands off the rapes in the city on Monday, the Gurgaon Police has told women not to move out and instead stay home after 8pm. It has also directed all malls, pubs, offices to seek permission to have their women employees working beyond 8 pm. But has the administration ever wondered if curbing a woman’s fundamental rights could be a panacea for such untoward incidents? Perhaps not!

Unlike Gurgaon administration, history gives a different view on this. Curbing the freedom of women for the sake of their safety has only increased the occurrence of rape and molestation cases. Why don’t our leaders and administration understand something as simple as this? On one hand we talk about women reservation in the Parliament, constitute woman commissions, make laws against dowry to give women a respectable place in the society, and on the other hand, we dictate women what to wear and where to go. This irony is a mockery of women rights and freedom.

Now, if a woman goes to a police station to register her complain, will she be asked about the timing of the crime? Will she be denied justice only because the time of the crime did not match with the time instructed by the police? Such questions are bound to be raised and the administration ought to consider this before issuing any such instructions.

The responsibility of the police, administration and the government is to provide safety to its people and make their lives hassle free. Our democracy provides equal rights to men and women. If there’s any provision of time limit, then it can’t be women exclusive. Is this not a violation of Fundamental Rights of women? This certainly gives an impression that the police are inapt in ensuring women’s safety through bringing criminals behind bars.

We can’t impose restrictions on the victims. This is a shameful way to stop woman violence. This seems to be a result of an ill mentality that asks for social exclusion of a rape victim.

This will bring trust-deficit among women against the police. Now, the safety of a woman is in her own hands — police have spread this message in public now.

(Pragati Saxena is a senior journalist with a Hindi daily)

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