December 16 gang rape case: More police at night, but fear still lurks
It's been a year since the 23-year-old girl was brutally gang-raped in the Capital but citizens say that despite the security measures, they still look at others with a hint of suspicion and are afraid to venture out at nights
More police personnel, deployed at check-points and on motorbikes and patrol vehicles, can be noticed late at night in the South Delhi area where the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist was gang-raped a year ago, but fear still lurks among the people.Police barricades, patrol vehicles and street lighting is visible at night around the area where the woman and her male friend were on that fateful night a year ago.
A few women and men commuters said that though police presence has increased, they still feel fear remembering the December 16 gang rape.
A visit to Munirka area, where the young woman and her male friend had boarded the bus on that fateful night, showed that streets and bus-stops were well lit around 11 pm.
Tina, a 27-year-old woman who resides in Munirka, said she cannot forget the day the incident occurred. “I usually avoid going out late at night. Today, I got late because I went to attend a marriage ceremony of one of my friends,” she said.
Her rented accommodation is just a few metres away from the bus-stop from where the gang rape victim boarded the bus with her male friend.
The woman was raped by five men and a juvenile in a moving private bus last year. The men dumped her and her male friend on the road — bloodied and without clothes after nearly an-hour-long ordeal.
She battled for her life for 13 days in Delhi before being flown to Singapore where she died.
Aniket, a 18-year-old lower division clerk at Central School in Katwaria Sarai said he always fears being robbed while travellingat night.
Sajid Ansari,a 48-year-old employee of a private company said that the gang rape is still fresh in his mind. He said he prefers not having to travel at night but has to do so because of his changing shift duty.
“I have no option but to travel at night. But I do believe that security has improved in comparison to last year,” Ansari said. Most people said they were scared of taking public transport like buses or auto-rickshaws late at night and would try on most days to get back home by 9 pm.
Police were seen manning barricades every five kilometres, while some whizzed by on motorcycles or in Police Control Room(PCR) vans. During the night journey till around 3.30 am, around nine police patrol vehicles, five police vans and four police motorbikes each with two policemen were patrolling the streets.
Kanhaiyalal, a police constable said that patrol vehicles start work from 11 pm and continue throughout the night.
Nirbhaya Fund will be utilised soon: Home Minister
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the Nirbhaya Fund for ensuring safety of women, set up in memory of the young woman brutally gang-raped would soon be utilised. “The Nirbhaya Fund that was set up for women’s safety will be utilised soon,” Sushilkumar Shinde said. Asked about legal measures to ensure the safety of women, Shinde said: “Amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code had to be done, and the work has started in that context. The work will happen more properly now.”
1,493 Number of rape cases in Delhi till November 30
3,237 Number of cases of molestation registered in Delhi till November 2013
400 Number of sexual offences cases disposed by the fast track courts till the end of November
500 Number of sexual offences cases disposed by regular courts till the end of November