The Bengaluru City Police has kickstarted an outreach programmed for women after identifying eight public spaces in the city which are unsafe at night.
The initiative, ‘Be Together Bengaluru,’ was launched in partnership with Durga India, an NGO that works on preventing sexual harassment of women in public spaces.
“We have identified eight different places where women feel uncomfortable at night. The goal is to make these places safe for all,” DCP (Southeast) Isha Pant said.
Pant also shared the list of the locations identified on social media, inviting citizens to take part in various programmes held simultaneously every night for a period of three hours.
Activities such as discussions, games, aerobics, musical performances, and others will be held from 7 pm to 10 pm daily till March 8, she added.
Among the locations identified for the campaign are Silk Board, Dairy Circle, Koramangala BDA Complex, Koramangala Regional Passport Office, Veera Yodhara Udhyanavana, Grape Garden, Madiwala Market Street, and Spurthy Hospital in Tavarekere.
Nupur Patny, a student working on ‘It’s Not My Fault’, an augmented reality-based heat map of sexual harassment-prone areas in the city, welcomed the move.
“The fact that citizens are having a dialogue with the police and among themselves is very beneficial. It is important for young girls to differentiate right and wrong and how to be careful and safe. At the same time, possible perpetrators including youngsters and men should also be made aware of the importance of staying away from such crimes,” she said.
Women police personnel on car, bike patrols
Meanwhile, women bike patrol teams have been deployed in BCP’s southeast division limits as part of the ‘Shaurya Vahini’ initiative.
“Women personnel trained to ride motorcycles will become a source of strength and confidence in adverse situations to their citizen counterparts. Women will also be behind the wheels of the Hoysala patrolling jeeps during the night,” Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.
According to BCP data, as many as 761 FIRs were filed in 2019 under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with offenses related to assault or criminal force on a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty.
Among celebrated personalities supporting Shaurya Vahini are former Indian cricket team captain Anil Kumble, actress Harshika Poonacha, TV star Sujatha Akshay, and Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
“This initiative by the police would encourage women to travel safely and with confidence through the streets of Bengaluru,” actress Harshika Poonacha said.
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