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Public statement condemning incidents of sexual assault on women from North East India

30 November 2010

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As women’s groups, child rights groups, sexual rights groups, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer rights groups and other progressive groups, academicians and concerned individuals, we are shocked by the repeated incidents of sexual assault on women from the North East in the capital of India in recent months. The incident of rape of a 30-year-old woman in Dhaula Kuan on 23rd November has again pointed to the failure of the Delhi government to ensure safety of women and especially of women from the North East.

On 23rd November, 2010, a 30-year-old woman from Mizoram was coming back from her office and was picked up by four drunken men near Dhaula Kuan. She was gang-raped for over 40 minutes in a moving vehicle. When the woman was picked up, she was with a female friend who managed to escape and who informed the police immediately. Despite this, the police were unable to trace the vehicle. Due to thin police presence and virtually no patrolling, in an area that is known to be particularly unsafe for women, the accused had a free run. Around 2 pm, the rapists dumped the woman at Mongolpuri Industrial Estate.

This incident reminds us of another young woman from the North East in 2005 who was also picked up from Dhaula Kuan and gang raped. In fact, in the past six months itself numerous other incidents of sexual assault on women from North East have taken place. On May 26th, a 20-year-old woman from Manipur was beaten severely by a man in Munirka after she resisted attempted sexual assault by him. On August 29th, a Manipuri woman was molested by the manager of a restobar in L-Block, Connaught Place. On October 22nd, a21-yr-old Jamia Millia Islamia student from Arunachal Pradesh was molested by group of school students inside their south Delhi school.On October 25th, a 19-yr-old Naga woman was murdered by an IIT PhD scholar in Munirka.

These are not stand-alone incidents. Women from the North East face regular harassment and assault. Often it is assumed that they are ‘available’ and women of ‘loose character’. The sexual assaults on women from the North East are even justified by saying that they ‘asked for it’ because of the way they look and dress. As individuals and groups working on rights we strongly condemn such social attitudes which ‘blame the victim’. We also affirm the right of all women to dress, behave and live in a manner they desire, without their basic right to security being violated. We demand that the Delhi government take appropriate measures to address and curb sexual assault on women, and in particular women from the North East who have been particularly targeted in the recent past. We condemn the recent crime, the Delhi government and specially the Delhi Police for their failure to provide security for women as well as redressal when this security is breached. The Delhi police must be more responsive or else its claims to make Delhi safe for women will be proved entirely hollow.

We demand the following actions to be taken by the Delhi government:

1. The rapists involved in the crime that took place on 23rd November must immediately be arrested.

2. The security measures in and around Delhi and particularly in areas that are more unsafe for women be enhanced.

3. More effective mechanisms must be instituted to ensure the safety of women in Delhi, especially women from the North East.

4. The Delhi government must issue guidelines to BPOs and other employers in order that they increase security measures when women staff members are dropped to their residence.

5. Immediately provide better street lights and police patrols in all areas, and bus stops.

Undersigned-

1. Nirantar- Centre for Gender and Education

2. Urmi Ray, Kolkata

3. O.Y.S.T.E.R, Hyderabad

4. Sonali roy, New Delhi

5. Lalthankunga Hma

6. Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkatta

7. Bijulal M.V

8. Saheli, New Delhi

9. Nidhi gaur, Delhi University

10. Anita Ghai,

11. Sonali gaur

12. PLD

13. Swathy, D.U

14. LABIA

15. FAOW

16. Mary. E John, CWDS, New Delhi

17. The YP Foundation, New Delhi

18. Meghna Arora, DU

19. Pramada Menon, Gurgaon,

20. Sophie Murphy

21. TARSHI, new Delhi

22. Geeta Sheshu, Journalist, Mumbai

23. Uma Chakrabarty, New Delhi

24. Subhadeepta Ray, Department of Sociology,Delhi University

25. Jayasree Subramanian,Eklavya, Bhopal

26. Janet Sunita, Delhi

27. Suchi Kushwah, Delhi

28. Urjiva Priyadarshani,

29. Prasanna, Cochin

30. Teena Gil

31. Point of View, Mumbai

32. Vineeta Bal, Scientist, New Delhi

33. Ruhul Amin, CHSJ, New Delhi

34. Satish Kr. Singh, CHSJ, New Delhi

35. Rahul Roy, New Delhi

36. Society for women’s action and Training Initiatives

37. Renu Khanna SAHAJ Vadodara

38. Anuradha

39. Sumi Krishna, Bangalore

40. Dipti Kulkarni, Research Scholar – Linguistics and Communication, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

41. Shalini Krishan, New Delhi

42. Dhurvajyoti Barman, New Delhi

43. Ramlath Kavil

44. Supriya Madangarli

45. Geetanjali Gangoli

46. Prasanna Nair

47. Dimple Vahali Oberoi

48. Honey Vahali Oberoi

49. Diamond Vahali Oberoi

50. Viji. P , Penkoottu, Kerala

51. Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal

52. Pratiksha Baxi, Assistant Professor, Centre for Study of Law and Governance, JNU

53. Nalini Visvanathan

54. Lena Ganesh

55. Uma Chandru

56. Rosemary Dzuvichu,Advisor, Naga Mothers Association, Nagaland University,Kohima

57. Mohan Hirabai Hiralal, convenor, VRIKSHAMITRA, Chandrapur/Gadchiroli,

58. Roke Noir

59. Anna Palmer, New Delhi

60. Bashabi Barua,Dhaka University, Bangladesh

61. Anupama Chandra

62. Ammu Joseph (Bangalore)

63. Mrs. Hansa and Daniel Mazgaonkar.

64. Professor Nivedita Menon, JNU

65. EKTA Resource Centre

66. Neelima Aryan, Bangalore

67. Pooja Mondal, Student, Delhi

68. Rituraj Borah, Delhi

69. Paromita Vohra, DEVI PICTURES

70. Monica Narula,

71. Point of View, Mumbai

72. Ranjana Padhi, Pune

73. Swayam, Kolkatta

74. Haritha, ED, HID forum, Bangalore

75. Vidya Bhushan Rawat

76. Lalitha Iyer

77. Manisha Gupte

78. Dr. Ramesh Awasthi

79. Anwar Rajan

80. Anahita Sarabhai

81. North East Network

82. Pasangdlepcha

83. Anju Dwivedi

84. Arnab Sen

85. Anuja Krishna

86. Leslie Martin

87. Archana Dwivedi

88. Lakshmi Premkumar

89. Byomkesh Kumar Lal, Action Aid

90. Vijayan M J, Delhi Forum

91. Helam Haokip

92. Nandini sundar

93. Gayatri Buragohain, Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT), New Delhi

94. Bimla

95. Rama Kant Rai, National Coalition for Education

96. Adhikaar (LGBT Adhikaar in India)

97. Aditya Bondyopadhyay (Advocate)

98. Hillol Dutta

99. Lok Prakash

100. Vimla Ramakrishnan

101. D. S Teron, Karbi Anglong, Assam

102. Jinee Lokaneeta, South Asia Solidarity Initiative, New York

103. D.W.Karuna Miryam, Ph.d student Delhi University

104. Pamchuila Hungyo

105. Dilip Simeon

106. Pradip Esteeves

107. Tanya Suri

108. Richa Minocha, Himachal Pradesh

109. Sangeeta Chatterji

110. Shraddha Chickerur

111. Rohini Hensman (writer and social activist)

112. Crea

113. Women Against Militarization and State Violence Programme, The Other Media

114. . Indigenous Women Forum For North East India (IWFNEI)

115. All Tripura People & Minority Association

116. . Naga Mother’s Association (NMA)

117. Sushmita Kashyap,

118. Neikesanuo Sorhie

119. Jagori

120. Leena ganesh

121. Bondita Acharya

122. Seno Tsuhah,Chizami Village,Nagaland.

123. Uddipana Goswami

124. Rahi Foundation, Delhi

125. Niti Saxena, Lucknow

126. Sandeep pandey

127. Arundhati Dhuru

128. Dr. Ritu Dewan, CWDS, Mumbai

129. Anu Pilay

130. Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, (MASUM)& National Convenor (PACTI) Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity

131. Dr Walter Fernandez, Director, North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati, Assam, India

132. Vinod Raina

133. Sweta Kujur

134. Mahadev Hansda

135. Govid Kelkar

136. Shelly J Kerketta, Ranchi

137. Dr Nitya Rao, Senior Lecturer, Gender and Development, UK

138. Flavia Agnes

139. Majlis

140. ambarish rai, lok sangharsh morcha

141. Madhumita Dutta, Chennai

142. Dr. Sewli Kumar, TISS

143. Indigenous Womens Resource Centre (IWRC)

144. Soma K.P

145. Sudha Vasan

146. Enakshi Ganguly, Haq

147. Chander Uday Singh, Advocate

148. Sama-

149. Sujata Madhok

150. albo rai.

151. Subhash Mendhapurkar, SUTRA, Jagjit Nagar

152. Dr. Apoorvanand, DU, Dept. of Hindi

153. James Lang

154. Harishwar Dayal

155. Kavita Srivastava, PUCL

156. Sandhya Gautam, Himachal Pradesh

157. Parul Chaudhary

158. National Forum for Single Women’s Rights

159. Jyotsna Singh, Student, Asian College of Journalism

160. Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum