Bus stop where Nirbhaya boarded still a dark spot

Bus stop where Nirbhaya boarded still a dark spot

Nirbhaya rape case victim's mother outside the Patiala House Court in New Delhi, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (PTI photo)

Seven years after Nirbhaya's gruesome gangrape sent shock waves across the country, the bus stand in south Delhi from where the 23-year-old woman boarded a bus remains a dark spot where women still encounter unwelcome remarks and stares.

On the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, Nirbhaya boarded the bus with her friend from Munirka bus stop. As the bus drove through the city, she was raped and brutalised by six persons, including a minor, before being thrown out. Her friend was also assaulted.

Repulsed, people took to the streets in Delhi and other parts of the country demanding justice for her and better safety measures for women.

Women, who are regular commuters, say the bus stop turns into an unauthorised parking area after 9 pm and they have to face lewd comments and leering men almost every day.

A 24-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named, said the security measures promised by authorities after the gangrape are yet to see the light of day.

"Everyday we see in the news that the convicts in the Nirbhaya case are going to be hanged soon, but nothing happens. There was talk about installing CCTV cameras at the bus stop and GPS devices in buses, but this bus stop is still a haunted place," she said.

"I travel across Delhi for work but I live in Munirka village. My parents are not as concerned when I go to other places as they are when I come here. Somebody has to pick me up as soon as I deboard here," she added.

Rani Kumari, 27, who works as a beautician in Green Park, said the bus stop turns into an unauthorised parking spot after 9 pm every day and it is a challenge to avoid the "creepy" men who gather here.

"After I leave work, I take a bus till Munirka. When I get down at the bus stop, many autos are parked here. It is very difficult to avoid the stares of the auto drivers," she said.

"The worst part is that they refuse to drop you home, saying they are done for the day. However, they are never too tired to pass lewd comments or follow you when you walk back home," she added.

Similar concerns were shared by 35-year-old Meena.

"Government says we can complain if an auto driver refuses us a ride at night. One day, I forcibly sat in the only auto that I found at the bus stop. I told the driver that he could not say no to dropping me or I would lodge a complaint. He said his auto didn't have enough CNG. I knew he was lying, but I had no option but to get down and walk in the dark," she said. 

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