Make Delhi safer for northeast women: NGOs

December 1st, 2010 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) Scores of people from various NGOs, students from the northeast and others participated in a protest rally in the capital Wednesday demanding speedy justice in the gangrape of a BPO staffer from Mizoram last week.

They also demanded that the Delhi government issue a set of guidelines for BPOs so that the safety of their women employees is not compromised.

The protest was organised by NGO Nirantar. A similar protest was organised Monday by the Mizo Students Union and the Mizo Welfare Association, voicing their anger over the rape and other similar cases of harassment against northeastern women in the capital.

A member of Nirantar said: “We are shocked by the repeated incidents of sexual assault on women from the northeast in the capital in recent months. The rape of a northeastern woman in Dhaula Kuan has again pointed to the failure of the Delhi government to ensure safety of women and especially of women from the northeast.”

In a statement they said: “Often it is assumed that they (northeastern) are ‘available’ and (these) women are of ‘loose character’. The sexual assaults on women from the northeast are even justified by saying that they ‘asked for it’ because of the way they look and dress.”

“We demand that the Delhi government take appropriate measures to address and curb sexual assault on women, and in particular women from the northeast who have been particularly targeted in the recent past. The Delhi Police must be more responsive or else its claims to make Delhi safe for women will be proved entirely hollow,” it added.

“The Delhi government must issue guidelines to BPOs and other employers in order that they increase security measures when women staff members are dropped to their residence. Also police patrols should be ensured in all areas and all roads should be well lit, including the bus stops,” it further said.

Madhu Chandra of the Northeast Support Centre and Helpline who participated in the protest at Jantar Mantar Wednesday said: “The safety of northeastern women in Delhi is a very serious issue. Every other day you hear of girls from the region getting harassed here, and all because they look different.”

“A team of Delhi Police officials was supposed to come and meet me to discuss a plan to make the city safer for the women of the region today, but it didn’t work out. They are now coming tomorrow (Thursday) and I hope something concrete comes out of it,” Chandra told IANS.

The victim of the Nov 24 gangrape was a 30-year-old woman from Mizoram working in a BPO. She was abducted by four men and gangraped in a moving goods carrier.

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