A day after a 22-year-old photojournalist was raped by a group of five men in Mahalaxmi, womenfolk in Mumbai said Maximum City was no longer safe for a lone female wanting to venture out alone onto its streets.
As per the statistics available with the Government Railway Police (GRP), while the number of assault, rape and molestation cases lodged during the first half of the year (January to July) was 46, the number of cases lodged against train Romeos for passing lewd remarks had crossed 700, and was said to be increasing with each passing day.
A senior GRP said, “Rising number of cases means that such people aren’t afraid of the police. It is an alarming situation and could get the worst in the coming days if stringent action isn’t initiated to put an end to this menace.”
Women on duty
Mumtaz Kazi (42), the only female train driver in Central Railway, said she felt safe despite working for the public transport system. “I think the percentage of such depraved persons is very less. I feel safe while driving the train. We have been given instructions for our safety when we are faced with such kind of adversity.”
Gayatri Patel (30), Railway Protection Force (RPF) sub-inspector with Western Railway, feels that no woman is safe until she is aware of her surroundings. “Women are not safe in Mumbai and I’ve experienced it. Such culprits aren’t bothered whether it’s day or night. Yesterday’s incident has sown the seeds of insecurity in the minds of women. Also, women are not being trained in the art of self-defence, which will help them tackle such scums with ease.”
Stats (Jan to July)
Discussing this issue is useless. Even after the Delhi rape case nothing has changed. One of the culprits was a juvenile and is yet to be punished. A crime is a crime; how does the age of the culprit matter?
-- Sangita Kotian, Thane
The state always criticises the incident after it occurs, but yet fails to come up with tough laws that can put an end to these cases. Such behaviour is intolerable. It is high-time they wake up.
-- Neha Katdhare, Andheri
These cases occur only because culprits know that there are no stringent rules against such crimes. If the government punishes the guilty harshly, others will think twice before outraging a woman’s modesty. I just have one question for the government: is it waiting for more such shocking cases to happen to wake up from its slumber?
-- Tahir Shaikh, Kandivli