Nepal | October 22, 2020

Police to intensify operation to prevent sexual harassment

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Kathmandu valley police has intensified anti-harassment ‘safety pin’ operation, an initiative taken a few years ago to protect young girls and women from harassment in public places, especially inside public vehicles.

Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari that overlooks security inside the valley said they have initiated the operation since October 1. They also said they have arrested 57 persons involved in indecent activities and filed cases of social offense against 10 persons.

Despite the police claim, cases of sexual abuse against girls and women continue unabated. Only a few days ago, a 17-years-old girl was lured and gang raped by the driver, co-driver of a public bus and another person inside the vehicle at Libali of Bhaktapur.

Nepal police,hadlaunched the ‘Safety Pin’ operation on 2 August 2017, to discourage sexual harassment, especially in public transport. It had also claimed to have arrested a few hundred males for sexually harassing women following the drive.

But, police crusade against sexual harassment of women and girls loses momentum after some months.

For instance, in January 2018, a video showing a man masturbating inside a public vehicle and ejaculating semen over a woman’s hair went viral on social media.

The culprit was finally arrested after around a month after the video went viral on social media. Following the event, police had for the second time initiated the ‘safety pin’ operation. But, the operation was discontinued shortly.

Lately, Nepal Police has said it will form many teams of police who will be dispatched in public vehicles and other public places to monitor any such untoward activities. Superintendent of Police Sushil Kumar Yadav said, “Police will be dispatched in public vehicles, bus parks, public parks, shopping malls and in other crowded places to ensure that women and girls are safe.” He further said the police personnel could immediately arrest any person found involved in suspicious activities.

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

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

Feature image: File

A version of this article appears in print on October 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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