mid-day editorial: Molestation is not just being 'touched' wrong

Another shameful act has been added to the repertoire of ways women are molested on our trains and stations. Perverts have been caught masturbating in front of them, in what is becoming yet another facet of the molestation malaise, acute on this commuting arm because of the crowds, proximity to people, cops who are outnumbered and the audacity of the molestors who believe they will get away with it.

The police have arrested a man who masturbated in front of a 22-year-old woman on June 29. The girl was about to board a train with a female colleague and even shot a video of the act, but it did not deter him. The police traced the pervert on Wednesday and arrested him.

The case first of all, shows that molestors are now using masturbation in public as a means to harass women. Flashing and masturbation in public places should be treated as molestation, because that is what it is. There is a tendency to brush away the complaint, because the common notion is that the victim has not been 'touched'. At times, victims are told that you should have just looked away.

We need to break away from this and treat this crime with the gravitas it warrants. In this case, the accused was nabbed because of CCTVs at CST. This shows the importance of having top-class cameras and clear discernible footage at all public infrastructure.

Second, do not let perverts get away with these crimes. Name them and shame them on social media if possible, but also try to ensure that the long arm of the law catches up with them. Action should be swift and strict. No leniency should be shown to these men, who once recognised, are hopefully socially ostracised too. Stamp out this new and growing form of molestation shaming the city and the country.

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