As many as 315 cases of “insult to modesty of women” (under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code) in public transport were reported in 2015, an increase of 160% over the preceding year, according to government data.
Over two years to 2015, 436 such cases, which included sexual harassment in taxis–were registered nationwide. Up to 57% of these cases were registered in the southern state of Telangana, followed by Maharashtra (28), Andhra Pradesh (24), Delhi (19) and Assam (14).
“Insult to modesty of women” on public transport includes sexually-motivated comments or gestures.
To ensure the safety of women commuters, the Supreme Court recommended regulations for app-based transport service providers, such as Uber, Ola and RedBus, the Times of India reported on October 13, 2017.
An Uber driver was arrested on October 21, 2017, for allegedly masturbating while carrying a 25-year-old woman in Hyderabad; the incident occurred on October 19, 2017, Hindustan Times reported on October 21, 2017.
A 23-year-old paramedical student–Nirbhaya–was raped by a group of men in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012. A 27-year-old woman was raped in Delhi by a Uber cab driver in December 2014, following which Uber was banned in the capital for a brief period. The incident led to widespread protest questioning the safety of app-based cab services.
New Delhi, along with Brazil’s Sao Paulo, ranked as the worst megacity for sexual violence and harassment of women, according to a poll released by Thomson Reuters Foundation on October 16, 2017.
Rape cases reported in Delhi more than tripled over the last five years, registering an increase of 277% from 572 in 2011 to 2,155 in 2016, IndiaSpend reported on July 8, 2017.
Source: Lok Sabha
(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)