By Sharanya Gopinathan
Ah, it’s a good thing DCP Merin Joseph isn’t a civilian from Kochi.
What are we talking about? Well, DCP Merin Joseph recently went on a “night-walk” in Kozhikode, where she decided to go undercover and roam the midnight streets to see how safe or dangerous it was for real women.
A little way away in Kochi though, the police on Sunday pulled up, for the second time in two months, the same woman for nothing but the crime of walking at night and, simultaneously, being female.
Amrutha Umesh was pulled up early on Sunday morning as she made her way to the railway station to meet her friends for Christmas Eve. She was questioned about where she planned to go, told the intervention was for her own good, some women cops were called, and then she was hauled off to the Women’s Police Station, and told she wouldn’t be released unless someone “prominent” called and asked for her release.
Back in November, she’d been taken into custody for the same “crime” of being out at night, and wasn’t allowed to leave until her parents came to pick her up.
Isn’t it bizarre to think that while in one city in Kerala, we have cops undertaking plain-clothes missions to see how it feels to be a woman walking alone at night, while in another, cops are spending their night shifts detaining women for no other crime than being a woman walking at night?
Just another attempt to establish the idea that public spaces belong to men and that women are meant to stay at home and never see the light of the sun (or in this case, the moon). For their own good, of course.
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