Off the record

Women feel the pinch

Times are bad for women in God’s Own Country with perverts now breaking new grounds. Census enumerators of the opposite sex, mostly school teachers turning up at households for data collection, have been turning victims of strip tease, lewd comments and intimidation.

The first reported case was from Kalamassery in Kochi where an enumerator who sought personal information from the house-owner was gracefully invited inside. As the question-answer session progressed, the man volunteered to fetch his wife. However, what unfolded before the woman’s eyes was nothing short of horror when he came back stark naked. A second instance involved two youths who began to answer queries from the enumerator in innuendos which soon progressed to lewd comments. Arrests have been made in both cases. A couple of more such instances have also been reported as a result of which women enumerators now take along their husbands as bodyguards.
No one knows what changes have happened in 10 years to warrant such an attitude change towards women enumerators. Perhaps, it is likely that cases are now reported better. However, it is not just census workers who have been at the receiving end. A woman who asked for the balance of bus fare in Kochi received a slap on the face in return from the ticket collector last week!

R Gopakumar, Thiru’puram

Red vs Rudy

Former Union Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy is, these days, in the naxalites’ line of fire. Ever since the BJP’s Rajya Sabha member from Bihar reportedly backed the Centre’s Operation Green-hunt, the Reds are seething with rage.
The armed guerrillas, owing allegiance to the banned outfit CPI (Maoists), had meticulously planned to target the saffron leader on his home turf. But shortly before the naxalites could blast his house in Chapra, the marauders were apprehended by the Bihar police after getting intelligence input.

Though a major mishap was averted, the police recovered 249 pieces of detonators, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and large number of naxal literature from the arrested Maoists — Chandan, the self-styled zonal commander of the outfit.

Abhay Kumar, Patna

Height of indulgence

The murder of a newly-wed woman by her husband of just six days last month had left police in a tight spot about the driving force behind the crime.

The law-keepers were simply bewildered by the apparent trivial motive — the husband strangled the wife because she allegedly insulted and abused him.

A policeman investigating the incident, however, was taken aback when he brought the suspect’s blood-stained shoes to the station.

Showing the shoes, he confided: “He (the husband) says his wife was cold and hurled abuses at him. But, he was no saint either.”

Saying that the husband was a self-centred, egoist, and greedy man, the policeman added: “When we brought him to the station, he simply became restless seeing his branded shoes in a bad condition. It was clear he had no remorse about what happened when he asked when we will return the footwear.”

“Just see his self-indulgence,” he said, “his wife is no more and he is concerned about the safekeeping of his footwear.”

Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, Bangalore

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