As Delhi Gropes, Pulwama Judge Takes Lead On Women’s Safety

SRINAGAR: Even as authorities in New Delhi blunder about over women’s safety after a horrific gang-rape in the national capital, a judge in Kashmir appears to have taken the lead in some concrete action to avert sexual harassment, particularly in public transport.

The principal district and sessions judge in Pulwama has ordered all public transport operators to register their vehicles with the police, maintain strict records of movement in the evening hours, identify drivers and conductors in bold script, and remove all suggestive images and graffiti from passenger cabins, besides enhancing police vigil in vulnerable places.

The orders came after the judge chaired a meeting of his district’s legal service authority in Pulwama on Thursday.

“Transport operators shall maintain the record of all types of vehicles carrying women after 5 p.m., including departure timing, destination, vehicle number and name of driver. These registers shall be checked frequently by the assistant regional transport officer and police,” the judge said in a statement after the meeting.

The judge directed the transport officer to conduct awareness camps across the district and notify the help line numbers for registering any complaint of sexual harassment on road side or any public place.

The principal district and session’s judge also directed that stray vehicles or moving vehicles without letter of authority shall not be allowed to operate.

The drivers and conductors of all types of passenger vehicles were directed to display their name and contact numbers in bold at conspicuous places both inside and outside their vehicles, according to the official statement.

“All suggestive pictures, posters, graffiti, poetry and innuendo written on the public vehicles shall be removed immediately,” the statement said.

“The presence of police at all vulnerable places of the district shall be increased and the vehicles operating after 5 p.m. shall be checked more rigorously,” it said.

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