AHMEDABAD: It has been three days since a 22-year-old Italian woman, who has been interning with a Drive-In Road based architect firm, was molested by a bike-borne man, but the accused is still free and cops are now relying on 60 hours of CCTV footages recovered from a few shops near her workplace and her residence with no substantial clues in hand. The police now believe that the woman may have been stalked by her tormentor.
A police official of Vastrapur police told TOI, “We strongly believe that the accused may have been stalking the woman for around a month which went unnoticed by her,” added the official. A police official told TOI that they will also question some people at the woman’s workplace after gathering substantial evidence from the CCTV footage.
While the police still grope in dark for clues, the incident raises far more important issue of making our streets safe for women to walk. Its worth pointing here that though Ahmedabad is being projected as “safest city for women in India” on the contrary in August last year, this claim was upended by a small Madhya Pradesh city, Sagar.
The Ease of Living Index (Eo-LI) report released by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, has put 25 cities ahead of Ahmedabad, of the total 111 that were evaluated on the sub-category of “safety and security”.
This was the first such elaborate survey conducted by the ministry. Among the cities that ranked higher than Ahmedabad in the safety standings of the EoLI were Saharanpur in UP, Jammu, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Jhansi and Gwalior in MP, Union territory of Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu’s capital Chennai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Udaipur in Rajasthan among others. In Gujarat state capital Gandhinagar and Dahod town were safer than Ahmedabad.
The 60-hour-long CCTV footage comprise the time when the girl enters the workplace and leaves it. The Italian woman on route to her workplace was molested by a bike-borne man on October 14 morning. She has been interning with a firm of internationally acclaimed architect.
The police official added, “As we could not get any breakthrough from the CCTV footages which we recovered from a pan and tea-shop near Sagar apartment from where the woman goes towards her workplace. We have also began collecting CCTV footage from a shop near her workplace.” The police official said that the CCTV footage had to be obtained from a shop near her workplace as the architecture firm where she works did not install any CCTV camera at their gates.