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Make Delhi safer for northeast women: NGOs
Published on 2 Dec. 2010 12:25 AM IST
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Scores of people from various NGOs, students from the northeast and others participated in a protest rally in the capital Wednesday demanding speedy justice in the gangrape of a BPO staffer from Mizoram last week.
They also demanded that the Delhi government issue a set of guidelines for BPOs so that the safety of their women employees is not compromised.
The protest was organised by NGO Nirantar. A similar protest was organised Monday by the Mizo Students Union and the Mizo Welfare Association, voicing their anger over the rape and other similar cases of harassment against northeastern women in the capital.
A member of Nirantar said: “We are shocked by the repeated incidents of sexual assault on women from the northeast in the capital in recent months. The rape of a northeastern woman in Dhaula Kuan has again pointed to the failure of the Delhi government to ensure safety of women and especially of women from the northeast.” In a statement they said: “Often it is assumed that they (northeastern) are ‘available’ and (these) women are of ‘loose character’. The sexual assaults on women from the northeast are even justified by saying that they ‘asked for it’ because of the way they look and dress.”
“We demand that the Delhi government take appropriate measures to address and curb sexual assault on women, and in particular women from the northeast who have been particularly targeted in the recent past. The Delhi Police must be more responsive or else its claims to make Delhi safe for women will be proved entirely hollow,” it added.
Madhu Chandra of the Northeast Support Centre and Helpline who participated in the protest at Jantar Mantar Wednesday said: “Every other day you hear of girls from the region getting harassed here, and all because they look different.”
“A team of Delhi Police officials was supposed to come and meet me to discuss a plan to make the city safer for the women of the region today, but it didn’t work out. They are now coming tomorrow (Thursday) and I hope something concrete comes out of it,” Chandra told IANS.
Rs. 1 lakh reward for information on accused
Not making much headway in the rape of a northeastern woman that shocked the capital last week, Delhi Police Wednesday announced a cash reward of Rs.1 lakh for information about the four accused.
“We have proposed a reward of Rs.1 lakh. It will be duly notified,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H.G.S. Dhaliwal said.
Are Northeast women
safe in Delhi?
Being a woman can be tough enough on the mean streets of Delhi. Being from the North- east as well, can invite double trouble. Here’s a case in point mentioned by a North- easterner who didn’t want to be named: In JNU, you sometimes see women coming out of the men’s hostel. If it’s a woman from the North- east, it gets noticed even more.
“In Delhi University, for example, every woman student tries to look her trendiest - women from the Northeast do the same but invite more unwanted attention,” says Ningreichon Tungshang, a member of the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights, according to Mail Today. “ If you’re walking on the streets, eveteasers will shout out, ‘ Chinky…bahadur’. I can understand if it’s the uneducated, but no, these are men who drive BMWs,” she says.
As a newcomer, Delhi can be intimidating for anyone. Rosey Sailo Damodaran, joint director in the Rajya Sabha secretariat, found that working in a sarkari office saved the day for her. Her personal views: “ A single North- east woman is grilled about why she still isn’t married and whether she eats meat. Then she’s asked to produce an identity card from a ‘respectable’ office. Status matters,” says Sailo Damodaran.

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