'Delhiites mum to molestation'

New Delhi: This assessment has been made by Delhi Police Commissioner B. K. Gupta, who feels that the active cooperation of the public is of 'paramount importance' as police presence may not be available at all places.

"As compared to Mumbai and Kolkata where citizens sharply react to any incident of molestation or eve-teasing, such reactions are totally lacking or missing on the part of citizens of Delhi who have a vital role to play in preventing harassment to the women travelling in the city," Gupta said.

He made these comments in a letter written to a senior editor of a leading publication, seeking to dispel the impression that the capital is unsafe for women where a number of cases of crime against women were reported.

He pointed out that the police was not the only stake holder in preventing such crimes where the perpetrators are mostly known persons.

"It is, in fact, a socio cultural problem in which there is a large role of people themselves and the social fabric of a city.

"It leads to the point which I had highlighted that in ensuring safety of women, the active cooperation of members of public is of paramount importance since police presence may not be available at each place of incident of eve-teasing or molestation," the police chief said.

Seeking to emphasise his point, Gupta pointed out that in the Dhaula Kuan rape case, the police had reacted very promptly and the case was solved in a short time through professional investigation and highly painstaking efforts.

"...but it was the gross negligence on the part of the concerned BPO vehicle in dropping the girls late in the night at a distance from their residence that led to such an incident," he said referring to the abduction and rape of a call centre employee in November last year.

On the recent R. K. Puram rape case, he said the school girl "went on her own with her boyfriend who sexually assaulted her along with his two accomplices. The culprits were arrested promptly but needless to say that such cases are very difficult to prevent".

In a metropolis like Delhi, he said, there were many reasons like unplanned urbanisation, over population, lack of privacy, disparity in income, unemployment, consumerism and loosening of social control and family discipline behind cases of crime against women.

"Added to this is the impact of mass media and umpteen advertisements which sell a life style that many want but cannot afford leading to crimes of various forms," he said.

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