A woman passenger was harassed on a moving bus by a co-passenger when she was travelling from Broadway to Koyambedu, on Friday night.
In the wake of this incident, the city police have decided to deploy police personnel in plainclothes at the bus terminus and on certain routes where harassment was reported.
“We have already identified 25 routes, from where we get a larger number of harassment complaints,” said a senior police officer.
The victim of Friday’s incident was travelling in an MTC bus from Broadway to Koyambedu, when a male passenger misbehaved with her. When she raised her voice, he reportedly jumped out of the vehicle, as it neared Chetpet.
The woman then questioned the conductor and driver on their lack of action and asked to be taken to the Koyambedu police station.
“Rumour spread that the driver and conductor were going to be arrested, and several of their MTC colleagues gathered at the police station to protest,” said an officer. Some of them alleged the police had assaulted the MTC staff.
“On Saturday, police commissioner S. George met MTC officials and ordered an executive magistrate enquiry into the incident. A case has been registered by the Koyambedu police. The suspect in Friday’s harassment case will be apprehended at the earliest,” said a senior police officer.
Very few complain
Often, victims of harassment bear the abuse, fearing repercussions. “Harassment of women commuters is common in north Chennai. Only a few women come forward to lodge complaints,” said another police officer.
D. Prasanna, former president, Women Lawyers Association, said, “It’s been two years since the Delhi rape incident. But women continue to be harassed. The government has to take stringent action against such crimes.”
Abdul Halim, a social activist from Washermenpet, said: “Women are often subjected to harassment at the Mint bus stand. There has been no action despite repeated complaints,” he said.
According to a commuter, there is a need for police vigil on running buses to prevent such incidents. “Bus crew prefer to not get involved for fear of repercussions in the event of legal action. Sometimes, even policemen do not take action,” the commuter said.