Residents of Hinjewadi, known as the Information Technology (IT) hub of the city, are worried over the rise in incidents of eve-teasing in the area.
Women IT professionals working in Hinjewadi had last week circulated messages, asking women and girls in the area to be careful, on WhatsApp. “Girls, please be careful while going alone from TCS Phase 3 road. There are three guys tripling on the wrong side and will deliberately try to stop you by jumping in front of you from the TCS bus exit gate towards the Megapolis helipad,” one such message circulated last week stated.
Senior NCP leader and MP Supriya Sule on Saturday tweeted: “Incidents of eve-teasing are increasing in Hinjewadi. Recently one such incident occurred in the stretch between TCS exit and Pinewood Turn and Hinjewadi Phase 3.” Sule further requested the Pune police “to look into the matter and take necessary action and increase patrolling in the area”.
Local residents also requested the police to take up measures to improve the safety and security of women in Hinjewadi area, particularly in the evening and night hours. Vikrant Nalavade (40), who worked as senior manager with a prominent IT company in Hinjewadi, said his wife got a message on WhatsApp a couple of days ago about an alleged eve-teasing incident near TCS. Nalavade’s wife also works at a software company in Hinjewadi.
Two persons on a scooter had attacked and robbed Nalavade of his gold chain while he was going home in a car along with his wife around 12.30 am on September 17. “The incident was terrifying. We lodged the FIR in this case at Hinjewadi police station. Two accused persons were arrested…But the situation needs to be improved. There have been incidents in the past like an IT professional woman was molested by two men near Hinjewadi IT park in March this year,” he said.
Seema Rasal, a businesswoman from the area, said, “I also came across the message on social media regarding the eve-teasing incident… There have been such incidents in the area. I know a housekeeping woman was stalked by local goons about eight months ago, but she did not report the incident to police. Several women working in corporate jobs in Hinjewadi work in shifts and sometimes have to leave their work place in night hours. Their safety is an important issue. We have asked the police to set up a chowki in Megapolis, a township with around 25,000 residents.”
On Friday, local residents from Hinjewadi had a meeting with the Additional Commissioner of Pimpri-Chinchwad police, Ramnath Pokale, and raised concerns about eve-teasing and molestation incidents and safety of women in the area.
Pokale said, “We are looking into the matter…We hold regular meetings with residents to know their concerns and suggestions. Patrolling by beat marshals has been intensified in Hinjewadi and other locations in Pimpri-Chinchwad.”
Nagesh Sakhare, a resident of Hinjewadi who was present at the meeting, said they have requested police to take stern action against “road romeos” troubling women.
Kavita Himesh, a former IT professional residing in Hinjewadi, said, “I was present at the meeting between residents and police officers. We have shared our concerns with the police on safety and security of women in the area.”
Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Sandeep Bishnoi said, “I am not aware of any particular incident of eve-teasing near TCS. But we have formed a special squad, primariliy comprising women police officials for dealing with such incidents in and around schools and colleges in jurisdictions of all police stations. We have asked IT companies to see that their security personnel escort the women staffers who leave work place in night hours.”
Senior Police Inspector Yashwant Gavari from Hinjewadi police station said, “We have not received any specific complaint regarding the incident of eve-teasing near TCS. But we are looking into the issue… We will put up posters at all junctions in our jurisdiction, displaying the helpline numbers for women. Also, we have Buddycop scheme for security of women from IT sector. Several women from IT companies are part of the WhatsApp groups, in which policemen are included as Buddycop. If there is a problem, women can immediately contact these Buddycops for help. We are holding meetings with women staffers from IT companies regarding their safety issues.”
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