By Maya Palit
Just a week after a panel at a gender sensitisation seminar rebuked Bangalore police for their handling of the New Year’s Eve molestation incident, they have become embroiled in another murky harassment case.
According to the Bangalore Mirror, a 27-year-old woman named Priya was harassed by a group of 10 men on Eijipura Road, after she got into a fight with one of them who was driving rashly and had damaged the bumper on her car.
She attempted to file a complaint for assault and intimidation at Viveknagar police station, but was sent away initially as the police were reluctant to file an FIR. After she contacted people in the media, who in turn pestered the police, she was called back to the station. But once she had finally managed to register an FIR, she was accosted outside her building by relatives of the men she’d had the altercation with, who were insistent that she withdraw the complaint.
We can’t know for sure, but she suspects that the police leaked her address to the men’s relatives. The Deputy Commissioner of Police apparently said he’d filed a charge-memo against the inspector who was handling Priya’s case, and that they were hoping to increase the sensitivity of the police.
In the meantime though, the leaking of addresses — if it’s true — is a serious breach of trust and more importantly, a reckless move that doesn’t think twice about the danger it poses to women living alone. The papers can’t stop citing the irony of these incidents occurring alongside gender sensitisation talks, but evidently people do need reminders that discussions by the police around curbing gender violence are fairly pointless unless they’re followed by genuine and visible efforts by the police to take complaints seriously.