Women's squad posing as revellers to curb molesters

The woman you 'accidentally' touch or hit on at a New Year's bash may just turn out to be one of 300 women from civil vigilance squad team formed by cops to keep molesters in check tonight

Grabbers, gropers, gawker, molesters and eve-teasers would do well to keep their eyes and hands to themselves. The Mumbai police has hired a civil vigilance squad of around 300 women, who will be posted undercover at clubs on Dec 31, to keep a check on crimes against women, officials said.

Taking a lesson from past instances of molestation and rape cases in the west and north regions, the city police have enlisted the services of this army of women to keep a vigil on New Year party animals this time, in addition to the women constables in the police force.

Ramrao Pawar, additional commissioner of police (north region), said that the squad will be at parties to crack down on molesters and eve-teasers.
"The women will be dressed in party clothes and would mingle with the crowd of revellers on the dance floors. They would keep a watch on miscreants and alert police constables posted outside the venues," said Pawar.

Sources said these 'spies' have been hired to act as the police's eyes and ears at the celebration venues, since cops cannot be present at every year-end party to rein in molesters and robbers who take advantage of the crowd to make their strike. The western suburbs will be similarly secured.

Taking a lesson from past instances of molestation and rape
cases in the west and north regions, the city police have beefed up security

Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (zone IX), said, "The vigilance team will keep a watch on each partygoer and will inform us about any crime at the venues. We will pay for entry passes for the parties so that even the security guards do not know that they are hired by us."

He added that eight police squads would be posted outside each party venue attended by more than 100 people. "The squads posted outside the venues will have two police inspectors, three men and one woman constable on duty throughout the night," said Dighavkar.

After an 18-year-old Dutch national was raped by an auto driver and his aide in Goregaon (East) a couple of days ago, the police have realised that the streets of Mumbai are unsafe for women, especially at night.

Cookies for cops
As an incentive to compliment 35,000 cops that will work on 31st night, MoS (Home) Satej Patil dispatched two boxes of chocolate cookies to each cop last evening. The boxes will be handed over to the policemen when they report to work in the morning today.

"Owing to heavy over-night bandobast duty on New Year's Eve, food facilities might not be easily accessible to them. Hence, I have gifted them the cookie boxes," said Patil. Moreover, Patil will maintain vigil and take stock of the law and order situation by travelling across the city from 9 pm till early morning.

Previous incidents

Gateway of India

Around 70 drunk revellers stripped and molested a woman in public view at the popular tourist spot, as her friend watched helplessly on New Year's eve. MiD DAY photographer Shadab Khan had captured the incident from a temporary police watchtower (pic left).

2008 Juhu

A mob of 70-80 men groped and molested two young women for some 15 minutes on a busy main street in the glamour district of Juhu early on New Year's Day outside JW Marriott.

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