New Delhi: Girls should go "straight home" from schools and colleges, say posters placed by the South-East Delhi district police today outside educational institutions.
Not all the recommendations on the posters are controversial- they suggest that girls inform their families about where they're headed. A note with the student's address and contact number should be placed inside bags. But the Delhi Police said it had not authorized the signs, and that they had been put up as part of "an awareness drive" by cops in South Delhi.
The posters will only create a sense of alarm, said Nirmala Sitharaman, the spokesperson for the opposition BJP.
The Delhi Police is notoriously ineffective and insensitive when dealing with complaints filed by women. The list of Dos and Don'ts put up today underscores for many the inability of the police to offer better security for women by suggesting they help themselves.
Last month, a young student was raped by a group of men on a bus in Delhi. She was travelling with a male friend who tried to defend her when the men began harassing her. They responded with an iron rod, striking the couple repeatedly before taking turns to rape the girl. An hour later, the couple was flung onto the road, naked and bleeding. For two weeks, the girl fought for her life but was unable to survive the vast and severe injuries inflicted on her.
Thousands of protesters, most of them students, lined the streets of Delhi, demanding that the capital be made safer for women, blaming the government and police for being apathetic to crimes against women, and seeking new tough laws to punish sexual offenders.