On 23rd September evening, around 8.30 PM, my husband and I were returning from Ganga Market on scooty.
There was check barricade near the Clock Tower/ Hanuman Mandir where CRPF and APP personnel were checking vehicles. One certain CRPF jawan was checking two wheelers and when our turn came, he frisked my husband on his stomach and chest and told us to go.
When we were about to go, the jawan suddenly started placing his hand on the back of my husband and while doing that his hand came very near my chest. I sensed his intension and pulled myself as far as I could and even my husband sensed it so he bent forward and yet the lecherous man had the audacity to almost touch my chest.
My husband realized what just happened and questioned him on his ways. I too realized his audacity and questioned him. The shameless man started defending himself in a very loud voice saying that it is the standard way to check people. My husband and I argued that if he had to check my husband more, he could have pointed it out beforehand and not place his hand suddenly near my chest.
An APP Constable came over and started asking us to cooperate with the checking, even when we told him what just happened. Then the Major or the incharge of the CRPF came knowing nothing and started shouting at us to park our scooty on the side thinking that we are creating problem.
The CRPF jawan kept telling my husband that he was doing his duty and it is the standard way to check people in a very loud tone while demonstrating with his hand furthermore vigorously on my husband’s body as if threatening in a subtle way so that people think that we are the ones who are not cooperating or on the wrong side.
I told the CRPF Major/incharge what happened and when he realized his junior’s mistake, he just dismissed it and asked us to leave instead of reprimanding his junior.
The Major/ incharge casually said ‘sorry’ and asked us to leave. The CRPF jawan still was trying to argue with my husband while still frisking my husband in not a nice manner and the APP Constable was acting as some mediator who was definitely siding with his friend.
Then I got my phone out and started recording it. Seeing this, the CRPF jawan removed his hands off my husband and almost avoided the scene. There was already a traffic created because of the CRPF Jawan and APP constable trying to argue with us and not doing their checking.
I saw that there was no point in even standing up for my dignity in such situation so I requested my husband to just leave the matter and leave for home. All the way back home, we were quiet and it made me think of so many things.
I was filled with mixed emotions of anger, shame and hopelessness. I couldn’t help but wonder about a woman’s dignity which is taken so lightly.
Also, people do not care much for the safety of woman. If a man in uniform can so easily molest a woman in front of so many people, how safe we are?
I took the video of the CRPF jawan but because it was dark and the CRPF jawan avoided the camera; his picture saved from the videos has not come out as clearly as intended.
I wish that every woman should speak up when things go wrong and not tolerate injustice silently.
I also hope the men in uniforms are sensitized towards how to behave with civilians. I hope they learn to respect and protect women and when injustice is seen, they are capable enough to stand up against it.