In March this year, a joint legislature panel in Karnataka suggested that stopping women from working night shifts in the IT industry was the way to keep them safe. Kudos. The sentiment appears to have echoed with New Delhi police when it decided to ban ladies’ night in Hauz Khas Village (HKV) after a horrifying planned attempt to abduct and rape women came to light last night.
A Twitter user, in a thread, unfolded a disturbing development where a group of men singled out a girl in Hauz Khas Village,to abduct into a van they drove around in. Pubs in HKV,which is a popular night spot, often host exclusive ladies’ nights. The user (who has now deleted her tweet to protect her identity) states in her tweets that the car was ready and waiting to toss the girl in their van, drive around and rape her. She intervened and questioned the men. They went on to threaten to toss her in the van and rape her too. Only when they spotted that she was accompanied by a male friend (oh, ’cause you know, some men only register other men as human beings) that they backed off and drove away.
The Twitter user says in another tweet, “These were guys who very methodically had a plan to abduct and rape a woman. They weren’t doing it on impulse. They came here for this.”
She registered a complaint with the New Delhi police and has been following up on the case since. But while the New Delhi police investigate the matter, they decided it was more important to ban ladies’ nights altogether in Haus Khaz Village to avoid any such incidents. The ban will stay in effect till Independence Day.
India is not new to banning things. But how effective this ban is likely to be a in crowd pulling pool like HKV is only to be seen. And what’s with the ban till August 15? Are they expecting Independence Day 2017 to suddenly usher in independence from harassment?
Perhaps this ban is further fuelled by the recent case of 24-year-old student being allegedly raped in HKV. While precautionary measures are not uncalled for, restricting women’s freedom is a slap on the face of women and activists constantly seeking safer streets in Delhi. Ladies’ nights are widely popular in pubs across India, as alcohol and food rates on such nights are cheaper for women than on most other days. By mandating this ban in one of the most popular nightspots in New Delhi, the police are basically suggesting what we’re ridiculously tired of hearing – don’t step out, don’t get raped.