70 booked for sexually harassing women

Kathmandu, September 10

Plainclothes cops deployed for sting operation have arrested as may as 70 persons for sexually harassing female passengers on public transport over a period of six weeks.

Metropolitan Police Office, in association with community service centres and transport entrepreneurs, had launched sting operation named ‘Safety Pin Campaign’ to discourage sexual harassment on public transport on August 2.

According to MPO, 47 out of 70 suspects arrested during the period are facing charges under the Some Public (Crime and Punishment) Act, 1970, which criminalises an insult women in a public place. Others were released with warning.

The suspects are aged between 18 and 30 years. A three-member team, also comprising a woman cop or a member of general public in civvies, conduct deceptive operation designed to catch persons making unwanted sexual advances towards female passengers on public transport, mainly buses.

Backed by a special mobile van, police also use a woman as a commuter in a public bus. Anyone found sexually harassing female passengers is arrested outright for legal action, MPO said. It is the first operation of this kind to curb sexual harassment in public buses.

Many women and teenagers using public transport often face different forms of sexual harassment, but most cases go unreported.

Public vehicles in the Valley are usually overcrowded, providing the molesters with opportunities to sexually harass women.