On 10th July, a young woman in Guwahati, Assam was sexually assaulted by 20 men in front of TV cameras. The people assaulting the teenager were spotted. This happened late in the evening at GS Road, Guwahati. Disturbing and barbaric isn't it ?
‘Assam is rated to be the most unsafe place for women. Guwahati has seen a sharp rise in violence against women.’ (NCRB) This is not a stray and isolated incident, but an aberrational human behavior which is a pattern being followed throughout India, in many areas. What is unfortunate about these crimes that they are often justified on premises of a severely gendered moral policing and therefore seek to reinforce patriarchal structures.
Further the constant hype and insensitive projection of such events by the media, particularly the electronic media has led to a lopsided public opinion about the gendered roles of women, their mobility, dress codes and stereotypical position in society. As if committing the crime is not enough, it has also to be videotaped and telecast and graphically described and published in the news.
What can be done ?
The state and the administration have the most significant role to play. While a lot is being said about upgrading the status of women, these blatant acts of violence against women is a challenge on the democratic state and the authorities. The authorities should act and act promptly. Instead the DGP says that the : Assam police is not an ATM..!”
It is high time that the state starts talking a language which sees a shift from its approach of “protecting” the “victim woman” to acknowledging the woman who is an equal to men and hence is entitled to each and every right as a citizen, including her bodily autonomy.
We, the citizens also cannot sit idle. We must rise to the occasion and protest against such vile and demonic acts. In homes, schools, communities we must sensitise our younger generation against such brutalities and keep a watchful eye so that slightest indication of incidents are reported to the police and followed through for action to be taken thereof.
Join us and demand:
1. Book the culprits and prosecute them
2. Prevent the recurrence of such incidents and guarantee the safety of women by.
3. Cameras at busy street intersections which should be monitored 24/7.
4. Helplines monitored by women
5. Closure of illegally run bars and restaurants.
6. Strict action cops for reaching late and for being slow to take any action
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