Young women seek protection in Bangalore after attacks

March 2nd, 2009 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

FacebookBangalore, March 2 (IANS) A group of young women Monday asked Bangalore police to ensure security of women in India’s tech hub, as at least six women, including a journalist, have been attacked in the last ten days.
The young women, accompanied by members of Alternative Law Forum, submitted a memorandum to Shankar Bidari, the city police commissioner, over attacks on them for wearing western attire and allegedly not conforming to Indian culture and traditions.

A group of women have started a movement on social networking site Facebook to mobilise residents of Bangalore to stem the attacks.

This follows the ’send pink chaddi’ campaign that was launched after rightwing Hindu group Sri Ram Sene attacked women in a Mangalore pub Jan 24.

Called ‘Fearless Karnataka/Nirbhaya Karnataka’, the site has been receiving good response with bloggers urging people of Bangalore to reclaim their space by standing up to goons.

The women who went to Bidari Monday included Sanjana, a journalist with Tehelka magazine, who was attacked March 1 while she was trying to hire an autorickshaw to go home at around 10.30 p.m. in Vasanthnagar, about two kilometres from Bidari’s office in the heart of the city.

Sanjana was punched on her face by two motorcycle-borne youth near Mount Carmel College, Palace Road, in Vasanthnagar.

Recalling the incident, Sanjana said: “I was walking on Palace Road to hire an autorickshaw after my two-wheeler got punctured at 10.30 p.m. As I was walking to the auto, two people on a motorcycle hit me hard on my right side of my jaw. I tried to pull the T-shirt of the pillion rider, but the duo managed to flee. As it was night, I could not even note down the number of the motorcycle.”

“Moreover, not a single bystander came in my defence. All were mute spectators of the horrific incident,” Sanjana said. The area is fairly busy even at that time of the night.

Immediately after the incident, Sanjana filed a complaint at the nearby High Grounds police station.

“But, till now not a single culprit has been arrested,” she said.

“The memorandum addresses the greater issue of violence against women in Karnataka. We’re not asking for the safety and security of a particular section of women, but women of all sections,” Sanjana told IANS.

Bidari assured the team that he would take steps to ensure such incidents do not happen again. He appealed to people who have been attacked to file a complaint and give the description of the attackers.

The Fearless Karnataka group is planning a march to the office of state police chief, Director General of Police Ajay Kumar Singh, March 7 ahead of International Women’s Day March 8.

Apart from Fearless Karnataka, another site ‘Blank Noise Project’ has been launched calling for volunteers to spread the message against harassment of women.

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