India on 10 July 2013
Location : Chandigarh, India | Source : Daily Pioneer

UT’s round-the-clock 1091 helpline for women in distress has proved to be futile.

The UT helpline made available for women in Chandigarh last year has failed in its objective as calls of the complainants fall on deaf ears. The number of complaints of eve-teasing, harassment, cyber- stalking and stalking has filled a file of ignorance as they were not solved on time and took a month or more.

Much to complainant’s dismay, the response of receiving a call is slow and else if call is attended, the male voice inquires about the matter, instead of a woman constable making the victim hesitant in registering the complaint.

Also, there are procedural hurdles in filing a complaint. Some of the complaints cannot be filed through phone as the complainants are asked to submit a written application for it. To register complaint about cyber-stalking and harassments, a written letter is asked to submit else no complaint is filed. And, the enquiry on these cases takes a month or more, which delays the justice for victim.

Other than this, the cases of matrimonial which police considered as personal matters until they are registered in police station also goes unresolved.

The apathy of the UT Police can be gauged from the delay in taking appropriate actions in complaints filed and incorrect women helpline numbers provided on the official website.

The helpline numbers provided on UT Police website are not updated. When The Pioneer called Women cell number (provided on website 2741900), a male constable answered and said, it is Chandigarh police number and dial another number 2700448 to register complaint.

According to the information provided by the UT Police, the number of complaints of eve-teasing and passing vulgar comments filed per week through phone are about 35-40.

From last records, where number of harassments cases has increased, no immediate action has been taken. The victim has to make a vigilance proof about the crime happened on her before the appearance of the suspect.

While cyber stalking and stalking cases are increasing in the city, they are registered less in number.

“I had registered a complaint a month ago about stalking. I get a bad response after a delay of month and I was made to change my own phone number,” said Ambika, resident of Sector 15.

Apparently, after delay in action, the victim is mandate to find the solution of its own. But, the same is unlikely to happen in other cases like harassments, eve teasing and passing of vulgar comments.

On the issue, a senior officer of the Women Cell, Chandigarh said, “The cases of matrimonial seem to be more and are sort out on the basis of enquiry time.

The other cases of harassments, eve teasing and many more are filed and immediately registered in the police station and further procedure of enquiry depends on them.”


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