Petition to NCW on harassment of Manipuri artiste

 Members of nine organisations working for empowerment of women and other weaker and marginalised sections submitted a memorandum to the National Commission of Women, seeking its intervention in a case of harassment of a Manipuri theatre artiste in Bangalore, early this month.

The organisations alleged that a week has gone by, but no action has been taken against the guilty.

The statement said: “We would like to draw your attention to the outrageous and shocking incident of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation of a theatre artiste and playwright in Bangalore on December 5, 2012, by a traffic police constable and a crowd of men, which has exposed how unsafe the City is for women, and how police are complicit in such crimes, thereby encouraging mob violence.”

On the evening of December 5,the theatre artiste’s car and a motorcycle collided, damaging the bumper of the car at Netkallappa Circle on DVG Road. When she got down to have a look at the damage, the motorcyclist verbally abused her, making sexist and vulgar comments.

A group of bystanders also joined in the heckling, making her fear for her safety. She tried to enlist the help of a traffic police constable standing nearby.

He, however, physically assaulted her twice and encouraged the motorcyclist to leave the scene. After this, a group of men surrounded her and started passing lewd comments and making disturbing sexual gestures. The constable did not allow the woman to sit inside the car, when the crowd became uncontrollable. The crowd also passed racist comments against the artiste.

On December 7, a women’s delegation, led by former Rajya Sabha Member Brinda Karat, met the DGP in Bangalore, seeking action against the culprits.

No action taken

While FIRs have been filed against the mob, and the concerned motorcyclist, no action has been initiated against the traffic constable, for both dereliction of duty and complicity in the crime.

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