The city of Bengaluru uniquely began its new year in 2017. Chaos ruled in the city after 11 pm as revellers accumulated in the heart of the city – MG Road and Brigade Road – to welcome the New Year. However, in spite of increased security game plans, ladies were attacked, and kids terrified out of their minds, while male companions and relatives had a terrible time shielding them from boisterous men. And this occurred in spite of the 1,500 policemen sent in the territory.
An expected 60,000 individuals assembled on the two streets in the heart of the city on Saturday to celebrate the New Year. Witnesses and nearby media reports said the group turned raucous and various ladies were sexually ambushed or badgered. A huge number of individuals, on bicycles, autos and by walking, gathered there for a celebration. Although police had at first asserted to play it safe to guarantee an ‘episode free’ New Year, it appeared they belittled the way of the crowd.
The episode first became visible with the Bangalore Mirror’s reports on January 2 about what they called the city’s “night of shame”. The daily paper’s picture takers who were at the city’s Central Business District gave the first records of a frenzy at midnight and of ladies being pawed and grabbed and attempting to advance towards police workforce remaining by. Hoodlums in the attire of revellers began fondling, attacking and passing licentious comments on ladies in the city, compelling some of them to remove their stilettos and keep running for offer assistance.
Previous city police magistrate NS Megharikh (accountable for New Year’s Eve security in the city) had guaranteed that the whole city police constrain, notwithstanding men from reserve battalions, was to be sent on the city boulevards to keep up peace amid New Year festivities.
Be that as it may, none of these game plans was of any assistance to the ladies who turned out to be simple focuses for smashed evildoers. Severely dwarfed in the city amidst a great many revellers, the cops had no alternative yet to take a secondary position and intercede intermittently relying upon the gravity of the circumstance.
After Bangalore Mirror published their first arrangement of records from the night, which were grabbed by different daily papers and TV channels, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Praveen Sood, who had assumed responsibility just on January 1, welcomed ladies who had been ambushed to approach. He additionally said that the police would make a suo moto move on the off chance that they discovered the dependable proof.
The following day the police official tweeted that they had discovered valid proof of attack alongside wrongful imprisonment and endeavour to burglarise. They likewise asserted to have enlisted cases because of social networking and TV reports. But by January 5, the Bengaluru police inferred that mass molestation did not occur. The police chief cleared up to NDTV that while a wonder such as this could have happened in a city of 10 million, there was no confirmation” of it. He additionally questioned the expression “mass molestation”.
These episodes of molestation run widespread in the Indian urban areas. A large portion of them are unreported, and still, more never observe the spotlight of media. Even though there is no deficiency of laws to shield ladies from inappropriate behaviour or molestation, the absence of machinery to administrate and actualise them make them a debatable issue.
Section 354, Indian Penal Code, 1860, had been inserted to secure women against obscene ambush. According to the said Section, whoever uses criminal force intending to outrage the modesty of a woman or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty shall be punished with a maximum imprisonment of 2 years.
Section 509 of Indian Penal Code talks about sexual harassment, according to the said section word, gesture or an act intending to insult the modesty of a woman is punishable with imprisonment which may extend one year, or with fine or with both.
Section 375 and 376, is the definition of ‘Rape’ and punishment of rape, respectively. Amendment made in 2013, widened the definition of rape, it now includes act other than forcible peno-vaginal penetration or sexual intercourse. ‘Consent’ was defined by adding an explanation to Section 375; this definition clarifies that mere silence of a woman or absence of ‘no’ cannot be construed as her ‘yes’.
Section 376 (2) was expanded to include rape committed by a member of armed forces deployed in an area by a Central or State Government. Also, the rape of a woman below the age of 16 years is considered grave, and its punishment is enhanced.
Punishment for gang rape is enhanced- it shall not be less than twenty years but which may extend to life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine.
The amendment made a separate section for rape that caused death or persistent vegetative state of the victim under section 376 A. With this section; the amendment introduced the death penalty as a punishment for rape that caused vegetative state or death.
The substantive, as well as procedural law, has been amended to make law more women-friendly. Besides, other laws have been enacted, which deals explicitly with certain kind of offences against woman, for instance, Sexual Harassment at Workplaces Act, 2013.
These offences are as much of a legitimate concern for the woman as a legitimate concern for open morality and public conduct. These offences are offences against an individual as well as against ethics and society also. It doesn’t make a difference whether the woman was a crazy person, in a trance or was of low moral character. Indeed, even the age is redundant, as a lady signifies a female person of all ages. Just the disgusting activities of the denounced must be considered.
This violently contradicts with the statement of G Parmeshawara, the home minister for Karnataka state, who said “They tried to copy the westerners, not only in their mindset but even in their dressing. So some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen”.While the police department’s effort to take a suo moto cognisance in this instant was commendable, later developments proved that nothing materialised from there. We don’t need a change in our legislation as the remedies provided there, if implemented correctly, are sufficient. However, we do need better management and an increase in the workforce of the administration if we are to achieve those.