Women are safe? Check your facts

Fol­low­ing SSP’S as­sur­ances, HT de­cides to check out ground sit­u­a­tion, only to be shocked that a lone woman is as un­safe as ever on city roads

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Mon­ica Sharma mon­ica.sharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: As­sur­ances of the city po­lice not­with­stand­ing, women in Chandi­garh continue to be as un­safe as ever. This fact was proven be­yond any rea­son­able doubt when Hin­dus­tan Times de­cided to check it out for it­self and its lady re­porter stood alone near Arts Col­lege in Sec­tor 10 this af­ter­noon.

In about half an hour, more than 10 ve­hi­cles stopped - some to of­fer lift and oth­ers just to take a chance. At least seven ve­hi­cles made re­peated rounds to pass lewd com­ments. Iron­i­cally, most of the ve­hi­cles bore Pun­jab reg­is­tra­tion num­ber.

One sil­ver Skoda bear­ing Pun­jab reg­is­tra­tion num­ber in par­tic­u­lar made five rounds of the spot, be­fore one of the three young­sters rolled down to ask the HT re­porter if she needed help. How­ever, a curt re­ply of no thanks was not de­ter­rent for them and they came back with an of­fer: "If you are wait­ing for some­one, we can drop you." When the young­ster was told that his pres­ence was un­wanted and the wait was in fact for some­one else, he mis­chie­vously ques­tioned "for whom?" The car kept roam­ing in the area for an­other 10 min­utes as if to see whom the lady was wait­ing for.

Four other young­sters in a white Chevro­let Op­tra bear­ing Pun­jab reg­is­tra­tion num­ber also made it their busi­ness to check why a girl was walk­ing down the road alone. Re­duc­ing the speed of the ve­hi­cle to match her pace, the car trudged ahead slowly. For nearly five min­utes, the young­sters kept stalk­ing this re­porter be­fore park­ing the car just ahead of her to gauge the re­ac­tion. The vol­ume of songs went up as the win­dows rolled down and what fol­lowed was an in­quir­ing stare from oc­cu­pants.

At least one more car stopped with the oc­cu­pants ask­ing the re­porter to ac­com­pany them. An­other car came too close for com­fort be­fore com­ing to a screech­ing halt. With loud mu­sic blar­ing, the young­sters honked and even flashed head­lights at the re­porter. All this while, not even a sin­gle cop could be spot­ted in the area that is said to be prone to eve-teas­ing. MAIN ROADS SAFER BET

The scene close to CITCO's Stop-n-Stare was no dif­fer­ent, where a car drove on to two girls rid­ing a scooter from the wrong side to evoke a re­ac­tion from them. A re-en­act­ment of the scene at Sec­tor 15 bus stop near petrol pump showed that main roads were com­par­a­tively safer, as cars here too slowed down but no one stopped or passed com­ments. In fact, at the bus stop the boys kept star­ing but didn't try to broach a con­ver­sa­tion.

A lone woman walk­ing down the road lead­ing to Gov­ern­ment Col­lege of Arts in Sec­tor 10 on Fri­day af­ter­noon catches the fancy of some young­sters.

PHO­TOS: RAJNISH KATYAL/HT

Young­sters try and run down these scooter­ists by driv­ing on the wrong side in the same stretch in Sec­tor 10 on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

Obliv­i­ous to the fact that they are be­ing caught on cam­era, the same car driv­ers re­turn to ap­proach the HT re­porter.

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