KATHMANDU: Police in association with transport entrepreneurs, trade unions, and women’s rights organisations arrested as many as 161 suspects from public vehicles in the Kathmandu Valley in the past one week. The operation was part of Metropolitan Police Crime Division’s special drive to curb crimes in public transportation, including sexual harassment, in the Kathmandu Valley. Of the 161 detainees, 91 were pickpockets, 36 were found misbehaving with fellow passengers, eight were found occupying reserved seats for women, five were smugglers, four were human traffickers, four were involved in sexually harassing women, three were smoking in public vehicles, as many were denying to pay bus fare, two were showing fake student ID card, two were using drugs, and one was fraud. Two bus helpers were arrested for overcharging passengers. SSP Sarbendra Khanal, MPCD in-charge, said that police released 102 persons after their scanning and profiling on the condition that they will correct themselves in future while others have been charged under Some Public (Crime and Punishment) Act, 1970. The campaign has been launched aiming at making public transportation safe, women-friendly and decent by controlling crimes that have been posing threat to overall social security. “The main objective of the joint action is to develop coherence among the public/private sectors and transportation stakeholders to make public transportation systematic as well as dependable through identification and immediate prosecution of suspects,” said SSP Khanal. More than a dozen monitoring teams, including cops in civvies, were deployed across the Valley to tackle crimes, especially sexual harassment and violence against women in public vehicles. According to a World Bank report on Gender and Public Transport 2013, young women aged between 19-25 years are more likely to relate to feelings of personal insecurity and fear of ‘inappropriate touching’ on public vehicles. One in three women and one in six men feel insecure in public transport.