Petition Closed
Petitioning The Commissioner of Police, Kolkata

The Police Commissioner, Kolkata Police: Take steps to ensure freedom of movement for women, trans* and queer people

We believe that all of us have the right to public spaces, a right which has repeatedly come under attack in recent times both through violent attacks on women and trans*persons as well as through the ‘protective’ measures undertaken by the government and the opinions expressed by powerful voices in the public realm.

We want to walk the streets at night, avail public transport like every other citizen. The onus is not on us—to look back in fear, to cover ourselves in socially approved ways to avert gazes. The streets, the neighbourhoods, the shops, restaurants, buses, taxis belong to us as inhabitants of this city, during the day and at night. Equally. And if today we are denied access to these spaces we will reclaim the spaces by inserting ourselves in them. We will be visible at night—walking, laughing, strolling, hailing cabs and buses. Because the night belongs to us.


Letter to
The Commissioner of Police, Kolkata
Take steps to ensure freedom of movement for women, trans* and queer people

• We demand sufficient public transport at night, including night buses (state and private), sufficient number of taxis, and late night metros. We particularly demand that there be metros till at least one am at night, with women and trans* only compartments at night.

• We demand increased safety of women and trans*persons, particularly those availing local trains. The railway officials and police should be sensitised to the particular needs of the women and trans*persons who are travelling long distances to come to the city to work. We demand the introduction of special women’s and trans* trains at certain busy hours of the day, following the example of Mumbai.

• We demand effective sensitization of the police in dealing with homeless women, trans*persons and children, especially those with mental disabilities.

• We demand that public spaces be made safe for women and trans*persons with all kinds of disability, through systematic awareness building campaigns among the police, transport operators, the commuters and store operators. Disability friendly signs, floormarkers, announcements etc should be made mandatory to ease everyday travel.

• We demand that the police be sensitised to the needs of working women and trans*persons who travel and work at night

• We demand that the police be systematically sensitised in order to stop harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersexuality

• We demand that to the roads everywhere in the city be well lit spaces that would encourage women and trans*persons to take to the streets without fearing assaults in the darkness

• We demand the creation of a 24 hours helpline for women, trans*persons and children who are facing any form of harassment in public spaces as well as at home or work spaces. Further, we demand that there be awareness building campaigns to sensitise everybody about the existence of such helplines.

• We demand that police officers who insult/harass women, queer and trans*persons in any way be brought to book without impunity