VIJAYAWADA: Stalking and eve-teasing pose a major threat to girl students and working women in the city. Recently, 14-year-old Sowmya killed herself after being stalked by a youth along with his friends on her way to school. Law enforcment authorities are taking minimal action in counselling the miscreants who were nabbed in raids carried out at various public places of the city. From January 25 to August 3, as many as 714 eve-teasers were nabbed and released after counselling. Sindhu Vamu, a management student, said she is ogled at and stalked on her way to college. “Sometimes, I feel like quitting my course, but somehow I put up with this menace. You never know when they will harm or molest you in public,” added Sindhu.
A senior police officer said that Mahila Rakshak teams are on the prowl to nab the eve-teasers.
“We are detaining the miscreants but cannot file cases as the victims are not coming forward to lodge a complaint with us. If we receive any complaint, we will not spare any person,” said the police officer.
He added that, as per the law, since the victim has to depose her statement before a magistrate, they hesitate to file a case. “On many occasions, they seek to counsel the culprit,” said the officer.Stating that many of the culprits are minors and they can be put on the right track by giving proper guidance, the senior police official said, “We are also concerned about their future. But we will not compromise on women’s safety. If they are caught for the second time, we will book them under serious sections,” warned the officer.
In one of the counselling session, Prasad, a 24-year-old private employee, told the police that he was picked up while talking to his girlfriend. Later, police showed him a video in which he was tormenting a girl (his ex-girlfriend) to marry him. “They will give excuses even when caught evidence. However, at the end of the day, it is important for the victims to give a written complaint so that stern action can be initiated,” said an ACP. In 2004, Vijayawada witnessed the gruesome murder of MCA student Sri Lakshmi by her classmate Yelchuri Manohar. Her parents alleged that although their daughter had lodged a complaint with the commissioner of police, the police did not take stringent action against the accused.