Police Asking Rate of a Girl at Night in Chennai

Asking details is not problem, but I am not sure why they need to collect finger prints. Such information won’t be there in CrPC, I’m not sure whether it is there in police manuals.

I suggest file an RTI to the police commissioner in Chennai asking about procedures to be followed by police when they randomly ask someone in public about any information.

Madhu Subbu: Do we have any information on his motive?

Ramya Kannan: not yet. there are initial rumours that he might have been a call taxi driver, but we do not know yet

Ramya Kannan: While murder is usually treated as a ‘regular’crime, as against crime against women, is this not a clear case to consider safety of women in the city?

Nirmala: If suburban train stations are so badly protected, the MRTS stations are worse!

Ramya Kannan: Very true

Deepak: This is not new. Eve teasing and harrasment happen everyday. But people never intervene to help. People are not interested in someone else’s problem. This is a problem because people do not accept a city as their own but just a destination for making money with no sense of attachment or responsibility.

Akila R.S: Deepak, I agree that public apathy may very well be part of the issue. Obviously, we should be more vigilant and also report and co-operate with the authorities.

Pradhap: Moral Science. Its a must for every human being. Recent incidents show cause each child needs to be brought up with high moral values to avoid these type of incidents.

Nirmala: Are CCTV cameras in public places a feasible option? What are the specific steps (if any) taken by the State govt. to ensure women’s safety?

Ramya Kannan: CCTVS in public places is a definite deterrent. but they are just not available…CCTVs were supposed to be provided as part of the Nirbhaya Fund. Nungambakkam rlway station, for instance, did not have a CCTV unit.

Deepak: Fallen gender ratio is the reason. Uneducated and unemployed youth are getting restless. The growth need to be shifted back to our villages. This is the only solution to this problem.

Ramya Kannan: While i’m for encouraging rural growth and employment opportunities, I aslo believe that we need to pay attention to the here and now…

Akila R.S: I would think that the falling gender ratio is symptom of the larger problem. And crime is not committed by uneducated and unemployed persons alone.

Ramya Kannan: Right said, Akila.

Aanandraj: Some of the instances could have been averted had the victims preempted the trouble and alerted their parents or friends in a timely manner. This leads to the discussion about the deteriorating moral values. In today’s world, parents and children don’t spend enough time together to understand the needs and issues.

Akila R.S: We need to introspect and ask ourselves why women feel unsafe in public spaces. Sure, CCTVs and better policing can help deter some and help in investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators. But the solution is empowerment of women and sensitisation of men (and women) to gender issues.

Guest: The question is not about city becoming safe or unsafe…real problem is people are no more afraid of law!!!

Ramya Kannan: That is because there is no visible policing. There was no GRP constable on duty. Visible policing is always a detterent. People are no longer afraid of the law, for a reason.

Nikhil: Males should be educated, fast track and harsh punishments should be applied to these kind of people. The population is also big issue due to which a person from one city can just penetrate into another city commit crimes and flea without anybody noticing him.

Guest: Recent incident from Chennai and its suburbs shows it is definitely becoming unsafe. Entire society should hung theirs head for this particular incident. More than 2 hours the victim was lying unattended. They don’t even have a blanket to cover the body. Shame!!!

Aanandraj: Deserted railway stations are always unsafe for women. At least now, RPF should wake up and prioritize the patrolling. Unless and until, they enhance the patrolling in early mornings and nights, the situation will remain the same. Priorities ppl.

Raghav: It can happen in any city. Why was the body lying for 3 hours ?

Ramya Kannan: Can happen is speculative. What happened is real. we need to acknowledge that and act on it. Not three hours. Reportedly they were waiting for some teams and did not want to disturb the crime spot. But yes, they should have been there faster.

Benny Pandian: What is the action plan from Tamilnadu Government and Police?

Guest: Someone mentioned about leaving the body (if one can say so) ASIS. The reason is simple, not to tamper the crime scene. There are also incidents where overzealous, eager to help attutude has caused more harm to the victim that trained professionals .. One of my colleagues became disabled because of overzealous assistance during a crash. I do not think there is a perfect solution

Guest: Women are still treated with respect and “weaker” sex (for preferential treatment not as an insult) in public places. People have become indifferent for public spats as the modern “educated” person considers that as invasion of privacy

Kay: I’m appalled by the apathy of the people nearby. The rising crime in the city has instilled fear in people’s mind I guess. This sounds very similar to the honour killing that happened in Udumalpet

Ramya Kannan: It’s interesting you mention this, because it is just the exact modus operandi. the difference is that was contract killers, this was a single killer, and seems premeditated

Harshal: I feel there should be more policemen near Railway stations and Bus stops.People are not afraid to do crimes.Humanity can be only protected with strict rules and tough actions.

Ramya Kannan: They are mandated to be there as well…at least railway stations.

Guest: @Kay – the indifference is appalling .. But we are the one who drew new lines on privacy. I recall when we grew up in colonies (developments) each and every family knew about others families, their problems and there was an ongoing conversation. One important reason – women were the family leaders and men were the earners. Now one does not even know who is living next door. We get in and lock ourselves in. Zero or minimal interaction. Women who were the leaders in these activities acting as ambassadors donned different roles and became wage earners (due to economic reasons one claims)

Guest: Is anyone even considering the idea that this may be a work of a deranged psychopath and the victim simply happened to be a woman?

Vivek Narayanan: Quite possible. However, there were other women in the station, so why her? Besides, Swathi had told her father that someone had followed her a month ago

Ramya Kannan: IT’s not a normal guy that goes around hacking people in broad daylight in stations either…

Kay: Bala-very good point. As long as Tamil movies keep having the mandatory TASMAC song and the message that when a heroine says no she actually means yes so keep stalking her till she falls in love with you, the attitude towards women would remain the same

Munna: This particular crime doesn’t have the stamp of regular offenders or rogue elements so as to warrant policemen’s attention. This seems to be a motivated crime by a first time offender arising out of lust or any other personal reasons. Even if we had patrol teams in stations, dont think it is easy to stop such cold blooded murder of this nature. Crimes of this nature can only be detected and corrected but not prevented as the culprit was able to escape by mingling with crowds. We need to inculcate value based education for all kids atleast now so that they grow as better citizens. Am sure the men in uniform are doing their best to nab this culprit.

Vivek Narayanan: Even though he was not a regular offender, the presence of policemen in the station will serve as a detterent. The fear of getting caught will be there in him

Harshal: It’s not only Chennai but I feel its all over india people don’t fell secured.Crime rate is increasing at alarming rate.I always feel with India’s population we should have more policemen’s .Places like railway station ,Bus stop and holy places are daily affected by crime.Everyday we are hearing about robbery and kidnapping.Strict rules should be made.Guilty one’s should be punished and Law should set examples so that people should feel afraid before thinking of crime.

Akila R.S: Our focus thus far has been only on violence against women in public spaces. What about violence within the family? Statistics suggest that an overwhelming amount of crimes against women are committed by a trusted family member. So, better policing and CCTV are not full solutions. Cultural change is pivotal.

Vinay: I lived there in Chennai for 5 years, people in Chennai are cool and was never terrifying. But recent incidents in India clearly show how intolerant people are becoming and the fear for law is diminishing. Social networking websites make people to react hastily and this type of character is being build in them. Attacks on women is also one of the impact of social networking sites and improper education in schools, narrow minded thinking, everything is making the society worst day by day, and Chennai is not any exception for that. Hope the moral education and social studies has to be revised at least for the future generations. Still hoping Chennai is not affected with any unsafe things and still women there can live freely without any fear.

Kay Nathan: Ms Swathi’s murder is as shocking as the what appears to be the utter lack of quick responses from the general public. Not so much as in attempting to apprehend the culprit, but not making the effort to summon medical assistance. One reader, Mr Bopparaju, commented in response to an article on this case that there are several hospitals in the vicinity. So why wasn’t a doctor or medical team called to the site???

Vivek Narayanan: People alone should not be blamed, the entire government machinery is such. If you offer help, you will be involved in t. This has to change.

Munna: Vivek, they would always find 100 ways to achieve their objective. what we need is instant public support when fellow public is under trouble..This why should I rescue attitude is our bane..

Vivek Narayanan: People don’t want to help fearing legal problems in future. They may have to appear in court etc. The system has to change so that people gain confidence in it, especially police

Aj: Guys this shouldn’t be treated as it happening only to women, it should be seen as safety issue of common person who lives normal life…

Akila R.S: They are not mutually exclusive. Yes, public safety is a concern. But we can’t forget the added dimension of them being crimes against women.

Vivek Narayanan: yes even men and children are attacked. There should be a co-ordinated effort from all departments. Right from good street lights from Chennai Corporation to better and scientific policing by law enforcers

Rince: An argument was there between the lady and the culprit which followed to her death. The person is not a stranger.

Vivek Narayanan: Thats one version, eye witnesses claim he just came and attacked her. She was speaking to someone on the phone

Jeyanageswara Narayan: Ashamed to say, the entire crowd was watching this idle. I am not saying I would have been a hero. I would have atleast tried something to stop that guy. Is this all this we have to do as a fellow citizen?

Vivek Narayanan: However it takes sometime for the incident to register in your mind and react. One would not expect such an attack.

hieflyier90: Police and judicial apathy and harassment of innocents after one helps are some of the reasons why people are reluctant to interfere in such cases. The awareness of Good Samaritan Rules for road accidents which was notified earlier should be extended for all other cases including crimes. Students in schools and colleges (including technical) should be given value education — helping strangers.

Akila R.S: It’s important that we don’t have knee-jerk reactions to these shocking incidents and start laying the blame at the women victims, or go into the inevitable enquiry as to why was the woman at X place, or why she was out alone late at night. As a society, we continue to police women’s actions and disregard that they have an equal right to access public spaces.

Vivek Narayanan: True

Kay Nathan: Methinks one of the many reasons why such audacity exists now is due to the general “chalta hai” attitude we have towards improper behaviour in public. In general, we tend to turn a blind eye towards what is unacceptable – be it spitting, urinating, littering, arguing, talking loudly… one could go on. Few have the courage to confront someone who is indulging in what are certainly public nuisances. We tend to play safe and show no ownership towards maintenance of public material and behaviour.

Vivek Narayanan: Yes, there should be a public movement and the government should know that people will react

The Hindu: We would love to continue to this discussion but we have to close the chat now. Thanks a lot for joining the conversation. Do follow us on our Twitter and Facebook pages. A special thanks to Ramya Kannan, Akila R.S and Vivek Narayan, who’ve managed to spare some time for this.

Vivek Narayanan: Thank you all

Akila R.S: Thanks, Ramya, Vivek and all guests. It was a great discussion.