Eve Teasing is routine but quite a few tell police

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by Zeenish Imroz

SRINAGAR: If the numbers about eve teasing, registered with the police, are far and few between, it does not mean the menace has gone. The fact is victims of harassment do not report to the police.

According to the data maintained by J&K Police the number of cases registered for eve teasing were 215 and 157 in 2015 and 2016, respectively. In 2017, the complaint fell further to 122.

But the girls who move out on daily basis said the numbers with police must be very serious cases because generally they do not compliant for the harassment, which is a routine.

Girls do not speak about the eve teasing mostly because living in a conservative and patriarchal society like Kashmir; girls are often on the receiving end of criticism. They allege they face this harassment almost every day and rarely seek police help so most of such cases go unreported.

“I have been through such experiences number of times but never have I reported to the Police fearing the repercussions of lodging an FIR will end up drawing unwanted attention and eventually negative judgments towards me,” said Insha, a resident of Habba Kadal.

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Shazia (name changed) is a student of eleventh standard. She said she was being followed by one of her classmates for almost a month. He wanted to have relationship with him. “I would leave the school and that boy would follow me and pass embarrassing comments. I would be shivering the whole way but couldn’t ask anyone for help because ultimately the girl is blamed,” she said. “Sometimes the boy’s friends would accompany him and then make fun of me.”

Sadaf, (name withheld) from Kashmir University shares her experience of travelling in the local buses. She was sitting with an old man and after a while, she felt something on her thigh. She lifted her bag and saw it was his hand. “I looked at him angrily, he turned red in the face and got down the bus. It is not unusual that men pass comments or touch girls in the buses. Such incidents happen so frequently that girls have grown a tolerance to it,” Sadaf said.

Aisha, (name changed) from Mallinson Girls School, suffered a leg fracture because some boys riding a two-wheeler teased her. She said that there has not been a single day when she didn’t receive humiliating comments from people. “One day I was coming back from school that a bike came very fast from behind me and the boys shouted loudly to scare me and I fell from the scooty and my right leg got fractured and was prescribed rest for two weeks,” Aisha said.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Police Control Room said that the victims of harassment could register cases at any Police Station. There are around four policewomen to attend to the complainant. Besides, victims can get help by dialing 100, which forward their case to the nearby Police Station.

“In 2017, 71 complaints about eve-teasing were received and then referred to the nearest Police Stations for registering formal cases,” Shahid Mehraj, Senior Superintendent of Police, PCR, said.

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