The City police chief has directed all police stations to make eve teasing an offence cognisable for issuing an NOC.
In a pathbreaking move that also has potential for misuse, the City police commissioner, Anurag Sharma, has directed all police stations in Hyderabad to make eve teasing a part of the check list the police will be using while issuing No Objection Certificates (NOC).
This was decided after the commissioner held a conference with police officers in the light of 300 men being rounded up in an eight-day special drive against teasing recently.
The commissioner believes that a stricter stance ought to be taken against this nuisance, especially because of the increasing number of crimes against women in the City.
The police commissioner reportedly remarked that the issue went beyond mere teasing, as men posing as lovers often also take advantage of college girls. “We must stop this,” Sharma was quoted as saying.
Accordingly, it was decided to deploy undercover policemen and policewomen in focal areas such as malls, bus stops, railway stations, cinema halls and festival venues. Secunderabad, Park Lane, Cantonment, Jubilee bus stand, Begumpet, Punjagutta junction, Ameerpet, Khairatabad, Banjara Hills, Masab Tank, NMDC, Mehdipatnam and Vijaynagar Colony, Tolichowki, Moazamjahi Market, Nalgonda Crossroads, Chaderghat, Malakpet and Abids will have police personnel in plainclothes to patrol the area.
When a person applies for a passport or a job, a police NOC is mandatory. At that time, the police plan to use this directive against youths who were caught harassing women in public.
Some people have voiced fears that this directive may be misused by unscrupulous policemen. However, Akun Sabharwal, DCP (south zone), said, “I believe there will not be any misuse of this provision because the crime is registered under the IPC, which demands a cognisable offence and evidence. No policeman can whimsically register a case to spite anyone.”
Meanwhile, the 300 caught for eve-teasing have been released on personal bonds. But those caught henceforth face the danger of getting their NOC with a black blot.
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I have been working as a crime reporter in Hyderabad for the past 17 years. I was encouraged to be a journalist by my late father. As a journalist I try to do something unique for society, especially the poor who suffer the most.