Cops mull dossiers on eve-teasers

Cops mull dossiers on eve-teasers

Sexual offences against women cannot be prevented totally, but their rate of incidence can be significantly...

Sexual offences against women cannot be prevented totally, but their rate of incidence can be significantly brought down by sternly dealing with eve-teasing, which is the formative stage. If no strong deterrence exists, perpetrator may turn into a potential molester. So appears the refrain among cops.A

DGP Dinesh Reddy often cites the example of December 16 Delhi gang-rape incident in support of his claim. He said on different occasions that the gang-rape accused were earlier involved in smaller offences like eve teasing and molestation. "Had the police taken strong action against them before hand, the gang-rape might not have taken place," he said.

City police appear to have taken a cue from the DGP's belief. Commissioner Anurag Sharma says the police department is contemplating building up of eve-teasers database and making it accessible to all police stations in the city, to begin with. They have already begun taking concrete steps in this direction. The idea is to instill a sense of fear among eve-teasers that information about them could be used against them when they apply for government and corporate jobs since employers would seek to know from police about the antecedents of aspirants.

In a nutshell, eve-teasers will lose an opportunity of landing good jobs if their involvement in cases like eve-teasing is discovered during customary verification. So far, police have not paid any attention to eve-teasing since it is considered a petty offence and the eve-teasers are booked under section 70C of the Hyderabad City Police Act. The provision allows the culprits to go home after paying a fine imposed by court.

Only in a very few instances, police register cases under section 509 IPC (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).

On conviction, a person charged under this provision would be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both, a senior police official said. More than 300 cases of eve-teasing are registered in the city every year, while hundreds go unreported. Thousands of cases could be registered if a special drive is conducted, the official said.

Another police official said most instances go unreported as the victims would not want to lodge complaints. The victims should come forward and lodge a complaint, and cases should be registered under section 509 of IPC, instead of local laws, the official said. Anurag Sharma says preparation of database would certainly act as a deterrent and help the police in containing the crime against women.

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