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Eve-teasing in public transport goes neglected in Kashmir

Bilal Bashir Bhat

SRINAGAR: On January 10th the humanity in Kashmir was ashamed soon after the news of 8-yrs-old girl of Kathua’s rape and murder came into light. This shameful display of sexual violence is considered as a politically motivated, however, the social crimes against women in Kashmir like dowry, eve-teasing, stalking have no political influence but are a result of the criminal silence adopted by the different shades of our society.

“There is no effective or uniform law to curb eve-teasing in public transport. But eve teasing can be covered under 354 RPC i.e. molestation (outraging the modesty of a woman) which also includes touching vital parts of woman.

And the punishment comes under section 506 RPC (insulting the modesty of a woman),” states Advocate Mahreen Zaffar when asked under which law a perpetrator should be booked. She said girls should raise their voices if witnessing such issues, adding, traffic police should be given the authority to listen the grievances of girls (whatever they witness in buses).

Though there is an advisory by J&K traffic police for public transporters to ensure reserved seats for women, however ruling is being violated at large as such forcing female folk to meet inconveniences like sexual assault in form of eve-teasing.

In 2016, the maiden lady CM of state started the ladies special bus service but with the passage of time it failed to make an impact on ground as only such five buses ply in the city where traveling population of women is very large.

A female commuter while talking to Kashmir News Bureau (KNB) said that, “I regularly use public transport and it recently happened with me as I was coming back from my work place I got into the bus a guy started pushing me inappropriately,” adding, this type of victimization happens on and off irrespective of what the women are wearing and this issue needed to be addressed.

Eve-teasing in public transport is an open shameful secret of our society where womenfolk mostly the student girls are victimized largely. The matter of fact is that unlike other crimes like drug abuse, the ridiculous form of enjoyment for perpetrators i.e. eve-teasing is not considered as assault as such this form of molestation and violence against the females goes neglected. (KNB)

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