The increase in the number of crime against women in moving autos has become a major cause of concern for the police in the district headquarters. There are around 20,000 autos plying in Kurnool and many women passengers complain of indecent behaviour by auto drivers.
For a few drivers running an auto is a not a full-time profession as they do it on a daily rental basis. Since they don’t have the risk of losing the employment, these drivers do not hesitate to misbehave with women passengers. The police say that few drivers run autos at nights only with an intention to resort to illegal activities. There are also complaints that they cheat passengers who are new to town.
In the last few months the police department has received various complaints of auto drivers harassing women passengers including school girls. The parents who send their children by autos to educational institute fear their safety.
According to police the number of misbehaviour, molestation, obscenity and sexual harassment cases are as high as 10 each month.
The recent incident where a nursing student was brutally raped by an auto driver outraged her friends but still many victims are not coming forward to report such cases.
In another incident earlier a 35-year-old woman was raped by her nephew, an auto driver. He along with his friends brutally raped her and had thrown her in a dark corner near railway station.
In another shocking incident recently two auto drivers raped a college student who was on her way home after a tuition class late in the evening.
Similar attacks on women are happening at the day time as well. All India Democratic Women Association state vice president P Nirmala said that the auto drivers are even sexually harassing aged women. “Women feel quite unsafe to travel by auto transport these days. There should be alternative modes of transport for women especially at nights,” she said.
Suhasini a regular passenger by autos feel that RTC should city-services at night. “Political leaders are not interested in implementing metro service facility in the town. They are only interested in lobbying for the vote bank,” she criticised.
Kurnool DSP YV Ramana Kumar said they have seized 50 autos and took another 50 drivers into custody for indecent behaviour.
“We are planning to organise some self-defense training for women, girls. The leaders of auto associations should also educate auto drivers and in case of any such incidents they should report it to the police,” he said. The cops are also toying with the idea of installing CCTV cameras at main centres in the town. “These cameras are used for surveillance as a part of security measures but it would also help us recording all such incidents,” said the DSP.