Nagpur: The incident of molestation of a girl from Tilak Nagar area in the capital city of the country, Delhi, has caught the concern of media as well as social media. The girl is named Jasleen Kaur, a student of Delhi University, who has alleged against a youth, Sunny, of her molestation by him at a traffic signal. She snapped the photo of the accused and posted it on her face-book account. Soon, a campaign was launched in support of the courageous girl.
Without loss of time, on the complaint filed by the girl, the police arrested the accused youth. Now the case is taking various twists and turns. The accused youth denied the accusation made against him, saying that the issue is unnecessary being given weight. Though the police is investigating the case, a debate has erupted whether the social media will prove effective in checking the incidents of eve-teasing, misbehaviour and molestation against women. Nagpur Today spoke to certain women in this regard and collected their views, which are as follows:
Smita Bhargava, house wife
Social media has a big power in itself to play these days. If it is used rightly, it can surely help check the atrocities on women and they can be benefited. The current incident tells us that a girl suffered molestation and shared her predicament with others, and a result, she got public support, and the police had to bow before public support.
Sangeeta Sharma, fashion designer
It has become a common day incident that girls are eve-teased or molested, and usually they do not bother about what happened with them and ignore such incidents, because they feel that they may not get social justice. But the just-occurred-Delhi-incident indicates that the social media can play the role of weapon at the hands of women. Social media is a better platform to put forth one’s say, and it can attract public support on any issue.
Abha Pandey, politician
Many a time, several objections are raised about social media, which is true also. But this fact also cannot be denied that the social media has its unique power which can be exploited in favour of women in terms of their image-building and setting up a justified society. I believe that the present functioning of police can be improved with the involvement of social media, particularly in the interest of women, and with this, the social activists should also be linked.
Social media plays a powerful role in terms of emboldening the girls and women as well as in terms of providing them social justice and public support. According to me, social media is a unique instrument to put forth what one wants to say and seek justice. I praise that girl for her courage to speak out her predicament. If such exposures by social media are made regularly, the crimes against girls/ women will minimize. Such incidents are growing because no voice is raised against ill treatment to them. Social media puts the accused to shame publicly, and also creates public awareness through public opinion.
While speaking exclusively with Nagpur Today, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell and Economic Offenses Wing) Deepali Masirkar said that one cannot generalize that what happens in larger numbers in Haryana or Delhi does not happen here in Maharashtra. She claimed that when she was heading the Crime Branch, they did receive complaints of eve-teasing or molesting from various parts of Nagpur city. She went on to add that they received complaints from the management of many schools that many lecherous men or youth stand outside the gate when the school gets over and girls come out and leer at the girls. This is a menace and needs to be addressed. On many occasions the Officials of the Crime Branch send cops to such places and when the lecherous men or youths see the cops, they move away.
While speaking about the incident of Tilak Nagar in Delhi where a girl was molested by a goon in front of many people, DCP Deepali Masirkar said that it took a lot of daring for the girl to come forward and lodge a complaint. She chose a novel way to attract the attention of the police officials. However, DCP Masirkar rued how more than twenty people were witnessing a girl being molested and not one came forward to save the dignity of the girl. She added that in an incident which happened in the same Tilak Nagar area a few years ago where a goon had publicly stabbed a girl and there were many on-lookers who did nothing but watch the entire crime.
While lauding the efforts of the girl in taking the video and uploading the same on facebook which led to the arrest of the accused, she said that the girls of the city should come forward and lodge a complaint with the police station.
Though the legal awareness has increased, many still abstain from lodging a police complaint. She claimed that under Section 354 (A), (B), (C) and (D) of Indian Penal Code acts such as stalking, voyeurism, videogarphing etc are punishable under the law.
Section 354 (B) said Compelling a woman to remove her clothes Compelling a woman to remove her clothes and be naked also if she has agreed to it voluntarily, video graphing the same and making it available to third person without her consent is an offence.
Section 354 (C) Voyeurism: Watching a woman when she is engaged in a private act including sexual acts, like use of lavatory, or when private parts are exposed.
Section 354 (D) Stalking: Following a woman, attempting to foster personal interaction despite indication of victim’s disinterest, spying, monitoring electronic communication etc.
DCP Deepali Masirkar said girls should now come forward and lodge complaints against such lechers. However she also added that the policeman can’t be everywhere and the citizens should understand and come forward to resist such lecherous deeds by a few men. She added that with the laws being made stringent after the Nirbhaya Case, the women or girls need not worry about harassment in the police station and can boldly lodge a complaint with the police station.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, Superintendent of Police (Nagpur District-Rural) Dr Arti Singh said that compared to the urban areas, the rural areas do not witness such incidents of eve-teasing or molesting.
She claimed that just like the girl in Delhi, every girl who is subjected to eve-teasing or molestation should immediately lodge a police complaint against the offenders or lechers.
However, she claimed that even in the 21st Century, women or girls still do not dare to go to the police station to lodge a complaint. Even if the victim girl is ready, the kith and the kin or parents prevent the girls from lodging a police complaint. This is because of the social stigma attached to any girl who ventures out to lodge a police complaint. The parents are afraid that their daughters may not get married if they have some case lodged in the police station.
It is because of this that the culprits or lechers get encouraged and continue to indulge in eve-teasing or molestation.