BHUBANESWAR: In a step towards checking harassment of women in public transport, Commissionerate Police has directed owners of buses plying between Puri and Bhubaneswar to display helpline numbers to help the victims seek immediate police assistance.
“The initiative is part of Women Empowerment for Gender Sensitive Policing programme. On a pilot basis, owners of buses plying between Puri and Bhubaneswar have been asked to display Dial 100, landline number of modern control room and WhatsApp number in their vehicles so that if a woman needs immediate assistance, she can contact police,” Twin City Commissioner of Police Sudhanshu Sarangi said. However, a woman can seek city police assistance only when the bus is under Commissionerate Police jurisdiction.
On Tuesday, Commissionerate Police organised a meeting with officials of Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) and private bus associations in its resolve to facilitate safe travel for women commuters.
Women special police officers, who were appointed by city police earlier in the month under the programme, were also present. The SPOs called for the attention of police on the incidents of women harassment in buses, especially on the Puri route.
“Basing on SPO inputs, bus owners have been directed to display the numbers of police,” a police officer said. On the WhatsApp number, which will be handled by the police, a victim or a passenger can send the photograph of the accused and video of the incident, the police officer added.
In the recently held meeting, police had suggested to devise a fine structure for the men sitting on ladies seats and it is being deliberated upon by the stakeholders.