The women commuters in Kashmir, especially college,school going girls, continue to face sexual harassment in public buses, reports said.The overcrowded buses are becoming haven and hub for predators to harass the girls by touching them inappropriately, and girls, who find it a taboo to talk to their family members or register cases in police station against the predators, are silently becoming victims of harassment every day.It is becoming increasingly difficult for women particularly school, college going girls to travel through public transport as the fear of someone trying to do indecent act.Women face it almost every day, but nobody dares to speak. The overcrowded buses are becoming a safe haven for predators to harass women.
Nayab (name changed), a 12th class student who has experienced harassment in public buses, said, “Harassment in public buses has become a routine. In overcrowded buses, where they (men) know they can’t be caught, they start touching the girl. And when you complain, passengers start cursing you for not covering your head or over dressing and think of you as a ‘bad character girl’.Muskaan (name changed) a 12th standard student, many boys often occupy seats reserved for females for ill intentions. Kawsar, a student says that she has been molested many times while travelling. On one occasion she had to ask the conductor to stop the bus as a man tried to take advantage of the overloading and molest her. She added that it’s really difficult to travel in buses.She added that it’s not only the young girls who are facing sexual harassment in buses. Many elderly office going or housewives also face the same fate.
Talking to PTK many girls said that to teach the predators a lesson, the girls sometimes insert safety pin in their (predators’) hands when they try to harass them, but on the next bus stop they are again harassed.A bus conductor, Abdul Rasheed while talking to Press Trust of Kashmir, who has many a times witnessed the harassment of girls in buses, said, yes, girls are harassed in buses, and whenever he sees that happening he either ask men to move or ask girl to shift to the other seat.“I do it with the intention that girls are saved from this harassment without drawing intention of other passengers towards the issues. Most of time if such things are caught by people in buses; the ultimate victim turns girls as a social taboo”, he said.Khalida Parveen, the Station House Officer (SHO) of women police station told Press Trust of Kashmir that, “Not a single case of women harassment is registered in this police station”.Meanwhile Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Imtiyaz Ismail Parrey while taking to Press Trust of Kashmir said that Girls don’t report these cases of harassment, so it remains under the cover. “Due to reluctance for the sake of social concerns girls avoid to report cases of sexual harassment. Once they will report it to us, we will certainly act”, he adds. (PTK)