Bengaluru Police, first address sex crimes before managing wild parties

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah
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Bengaluru, Dec 27: There is no doubt Bengalureans love to party hard. And, party peeps in India's IT hub especially go wild during the Christmas and New Year's eve every year.

Bengaluru police take extra security measures so that party-goers can let their hair down without worrying much. Thick security bandobast can be seen across the city, as police personnel keep a tight vigil on roads and places in and around popular party destinations.

Story on rising crime against women

However, it seems lawmakers are too busy indulging the fun-loving residents of the city, while the city witnesses a spike in sex crime cases.

The recent data released by the Karnataka crime records bureau reveals some shocking truths. "Cases of sexual harassment and molestation in Bengaluru have gone up by 120% in the past five years," states the crime records bureau report.

In fact, five years ago, very few police stations in the city received complaints of outraging the modesty of women under Section 354 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The situation has drastically changed. In recent past, almost all the 107 police stations spread across the city registered cases of sexual assault on women. While in 2010, only 308 cases under Section 354 of IPC were registered in the city, this year the number has increased to 698.

What is most horrifying is that cases of rapes have increased manifold. A total of 107 rape cases were registered in Bengaluru till December 20, 2015.

The number stood at 65 in 2010. Is it growing public awareness to end sex crimes against women which led victims to come out and approach the police? Or, the city is no more a safe haven for its female population?

Unfortunately, the police force is not proving vigilant enough to make the situation better for women. Many women often criticise that police refuse to register their cases when it comes to eve teasing and molestation.

In October and November this year, the city saw three horrific rape cases widely reported in the media. Although the culprits were nabbed by the police in all these cases, but the question remains whether adequate measures are in place to end such acts in the future.

However, looking at the proactive stand police seem to have taken to provide security measures for New Year revelers, one can't but wonder why women issues always take a back stand.

While announcing the extension of night life hours in the city till January 1, 2016, Bengaluru Police Commissioner MN Megharik assured full-protection for party-goers.

As celebrations for Christmas and New Year eve began on Thursday, December 24, closure timings of pubs, bars and restaurants across the city have been extended up to 1 a.m. from 11 p.m. till January 1, 2016.

"In view of the week-long celebrations from Friday (December 25) till next Thursday (January 1) for Christmas and New Year, pubs, bars, recreation clubs, restaurants and hotels in city limits will be allowed to remain open till 1 a.m. for serving their guests," Bengaluru Police Commissioner M.N. Megharik told the media.

"As the city attracts thousands of tourists and visitors during the week-long year-end holidays, we have agreed to extend night life by two hours only, keeping in view their safety and security," Megharik said.

Police sources say elaborate security arrangements have been made across the city to maintain peace and allow people to celebrate and revel in New Year's eve.
"Eve-teasing, blaring loud music beyond 11 p.m., drunken driving and causing inconvenience to public will be sternly dealt with," Megharik added.

Hopefully, once the party season gets over, and the police get some time off from guarding pub-hoppers, an action plan would be in place to turn the city women-friendly.

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