“Students Feel Scared To Walk Alone.” How A Bike-Riding Molester Terrorised TISS Hyderabad

One of the most startling realities about crimes against women is that a majority of them go unreported. If they are reported, then they don’t get taken seriously. But lately, social media has been a great blessing for those trying to raise awareness about such issues. One such case is that of the TISS Hyderabad students.

Last week, Twitter user @NirbhayaPahwa made a startling revelation about the molestation faced by female students of TISS Hyderabad.

The letter, written by the BA students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ Hyderabad campus, alleged that a man on a Royal Enfield bike was sexually harassing female hostelites. Several such incidents involving the same biker had occurred in the past 15 days. However, the administration wasn’t taking any action despite repeated complaints.

Pahwa spoke exclusively to us and revealed how one of his friends from TISS Hyderabad confided in him about what had happened to her.

At around 2 pm, the student was on her way to the hostel from college, a stretch that is approximately 3-km long. And that’s when it happend.

“A well-built guy on his Royal Enfield with a cap on stopped right next to her and groped her breast. My friend was shaking, she saw the guy ride away. Only after a few meters, the guy stopped and gave her a look of satisfaction which disgusted her.”

The next day, when she spoke about what had happened to her friends and seniors, she was shocked to learn that she wasn’t the only victim of the bike-riding molester. What was worse was that any attempts to note down the perp’s bike number had failed because there was no number plate on the bike!

The very day that this incident had occurred, one of the first things the student did was inform the She-Team. Alas, to no avail.

She-Teams is a division of the Telangana police for enhanced security of women and tackles cases of eve-teasing, women harassment, stalking and so on. However, the team claimed to be away on lunch when the student tried to file a complaint.

“A few women gathered the courage to call the cops. But the cops refused to help them or even register a case. At the end of the day, women had to walk with stones, pepper spray, swiss knives and other such things.”

The students even launched a protest against the TISS Hyderabad administration for lack of adequate security measures.

While the teaching faculty was being supportive of the cause, the administration was taking time to warm up to the issue. They imposed a strict curfew and rules on the female students.

However, the students kept hoping that the admins and the police would address the three most pressing issues at hand:

1.The inaction of the She-Team despite their knowledge of the exact location of the incident and the description of the rider.
2. The safety of the students who live in the hostels.
3. Lack of CCTV surveillance and street lights in the stretch between the hostel and campus (Pillar number 203 to hostel is the term that is used by them).

“That specific stretch is lonely. The students feel scared to walk alone.”

However, after Pahwa’s tweet was reported by us and the resulting media attention it received, the administration has finally taken substantial steps to handle the situation.

“The management has set deadlines for installing CCTVs on the lonely stretch between the hotel and college, and will be posting guards there too. In addition, they’ve also scheduled self-defense classes for the students.”

‘Action’ is the only way to tackle such issues, and it looks like TISS Hyderabad is finally on the right road to deal with the menace terrorising it.