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Cops’ remarks against women’s outfits kick up row

Cops’ remarks against women’s outfits kick up row

Hyderabad: The city police accusing women of triggering sexual desire in men by wearing scanty outfits at pubs and public places seems to have stirred up a hornet’s nest as women activists and human right groups taking up a cudgel against the police for irresponsible statements.

It may be mentioned here that the police issued a statement recently that “women were indulging in obscene acts by gesturing in an indecent manner and luring men by exposing their body for immoral acts.”

“Such arguments have always been made and women have always been misjudged for the clothes they wear, ” said P.A. Devi, a women’s activist in the city. “What about rural areas? Do women there have such clothes or wear short skirts or torn jeans or sleeveless tops? They don’t, but rapes and sexual assaults still take place there as well. What about 9-month-old babies being raped? What about senior citizens being raped? Do they also lure men by wearing short clothes?” questioned Devi.

“The police come up with conservative, narrow and prejudiced explanations when it comes to women safety, which is highly unacceptable. They say it’s her fault for being in a certain place or at a certain time. It’s further victimisation of the victim. Do Hyderabad police want to give a dress code for women? Are we having Talibanism here too?” Devi asked.

If the Hyderabad police are going making such remarks about women in the city, they should prove their allegations by arresting these people under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and/or Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, said Trishna Pennama, 27, who works for an MNC.

“Before pointing fingers at citizens who are legally enjoying a night out, the police should sensitise their own personnel. I have been recently molested in broad daylight, in a residential area by a policeman, who offered to drop me to my destination on his official vehicle, since I was unable to get public transport. I was not exposing my body. I was just trying to get to a friend’s house to study for an upcoming exam,” she said.

However, Yamuna Pathak, a social and women activist said the mindset and the attitude of men had to change, not the clothing of women. “We all need to be cultured. Parents must teach their children about limitations. I believe clothing is about comfort but not to an extent that it becomes obscenity. It is not about clothes, it’s about the attitude of men. What about those women who are dressed decently and are being raped? Girls and boys should be guided about limitations and their attitude towards everything at home itself,” she said.