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The flagrant incident of assault of a young women journalist including an other woman at the ITO metro station last Tuesday, being third in a row in a week’s time has shaken the confidence of the women metro commuters of Delhi.

Such an outrageous incident of a young journalist’s assault at a metro station just less than fifty metres away from the police headquarter definitely puts a strong question mark on the claims of women’s security in the capital and its metro stations.

If a woman in the heart of the city surrounded by police headquarter and newspapers’ offices of repute is not safe at 9.30 PM and that too a journalist, who showed exemplary courage to bravely counter the assault attempts and lodge an FIR despite being alone, having to wait for one hour just imagine what would be the fate of those shy and insecure women who daily face such assaults and stalkers but fail to report matters of constant harrasments due to the apprehension of repraisals of these goondaas or the tardy action taken procedures of the authorities concerned.

Hats off to this courageous journalist who not only fought with the criminal valiantly but also acrimoniouly chased him making him badly frieghtened who was later on caught after two days of police’s serious investigation, procuring the CCTV footage and enquiring from hundreds of nearby vendors and strangers.

The culprit who was a local tea seller is now in 14 day police custody under the relevant sections of the law. The Delhi Commision of Women has taken a suo.motto cognisance of this serious matter and have issued notices to the DMRC to submit it the detailed report about such shameless incidents of women assaults and harrasment till date.

Sounds shocking and anguishing that a station like ITO dosen’t have police petrol in the nearby vicinity as well a inside the station to check the antecedents of such anti social elements frequenting in and out at times in inebriated condition with a bad intent to molest women and young girls.

Delhi metro despite having CCTV cameras all over fails to monitor such serious act of a women’s molestation and no policemen or the para military trooper comes to her rescue, sounds unusual and definitely reflects on the poor vigilantism inside the stations where women seem to be vulnerable.

Metro ferries 25 to 30 lakh passengers daily to different parts of the capital and the NCR and is considered to be the lifeline of the Delhites but unfortunately over the past two years, while its fares have been increased manifold, putting extra burden on the squeezed pockets of its commuters it has been felt and visualized that incidents of pick pockets, mollestations, eve teasing are on the rise.

May be the reporting pattern by women complainants is not very encouraging due to different compelling reasons and circumstances. There have been incidents when male commuters enter from the women compartment ruthlessly and stand in close proximity which is higly objectionable and uncalled for.

Even in general compartment some youngsters try to deliberately rub shoulders with girls and women and on objecting either say sorry pretending to be gentlemen or retaliate. This is because there is dearth of police petrolling inside trains and in the station premises.

In order to check and counter such dubious elements the security apparatus including those manning the CCTV part should be made more alert, attentive and answerable and petrolling increased manifold.

If the metro authorities have the guts to increase the fares of its commuters manifold, twice in just past six months, despite repeated opposition and criticism by the general public and the Delhi government it should also exhibit and ensure its performance on security front and well as looking after the convenience of its valued commuters.

Today, you go in any metro station, except few, in majority of the stations one or two token counters function and the queue of the token seekers in long and unending but the staff seems to be least bothered for the convenience of its valued commuters.

Majority of the pedestrian escalaters are out of order. This is so because the Delhi metro has never valued its commuters’ inconvenience as it perhaps thinks that it’s the cimpulsion of the Delhites to travel by it, despite all odds.

The CMD of the DMRC is urged upon to take serious note of all these lapses on the part of the metro and ensure the fullest safety and security of its commuters, particularly the most vulnerable women community using its services. WHAT DO YOU SAY FRIENDS?

SUNIL NEGI