The Principal District and Sessions Judge in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district has directed registration of all passenger-carriers with the police and asked the authorities to keep an eye on the vehicles carrying female commuters, particularly those plying after sunset.
Chairing a meeting of the District Legal Services Authority as its head on Thursday, Mr. Mohammad Yousuf Wani, also directed the police and the officials of Regional Transport authority to swing into action and remove all “suggestive pictures, posters, graffiti, poetry and innuendo written on the public vehicles” immediately.
The judge also directed the police to increase its presence at all vulnerable places of the district and check the vehicles operating after 5 pm more rigorously.
“The operators shall maintain the record of all types of vehicles carrying women after 5 pm, including departure timing, destination, vehicle number and name of driver. These registers shall be checked frequently by the assistant regional transport officer and police,” said a hand-out.
The judge has directed transport officers to conduct awareness camps across the district and notify the helpline numbers for registering any complaint of sexual harassment on roadside or a public place.
The drivers and conductors of all types of passenger vehicles have been directed to display their names and contact numbers in bold at conspicuous places both inside and outside their vehicles.
While the figures of the current year are being tabulated, 277 incidents of rape, 1194 incidents of molestation and 350 incidents of eve-teasing have been reported in Jammu and Kashmir in 2011. 1077 complaints of kidnapping and abduction have also been lodged with the police.
At least three gruesome incidents of rape, rape-cum-murder and rape-cum-attempt-to-murder have occurred in the Pulwama-Shopian belt of South Kashmir in the last four months.