We often blame the lack of education and class in the lower sections of our society for crimes, especially those which are sexual in nature, in our country. For instance, all of the Nirbhaya rapists were daily wage labourers, bus drivers or cleaners. What we fail to understand is that crimes such as rape and stalking have little to do with how much school education you have or how much you earn. Most crimes amounting to sexual harassment (yes, stalking counts as sexual harassment too), are more about power and less about simply infatuation with the victim. Thanks to the glorious male ego fueled by the patriarchal society we live in, men find it difficult to digest rejection. In extreme cases, it is this ego that drives them towards crimes such as eve-teasing, rapes and stalking.

What we fail to understand is that crimes such as rape and stalking have little to do with how much school education you have or how much you earn.

A stalker is usually the kind of person who’s too big a coward to actually come up and make an attempt at an honest conversation. This cowardice is also what makes it possible to win against a stalker. The key is to not get scared because it’s your fear that the stalker feeds on and takes advantages of.

A stalker is usually the kind of person who’s too big a coward to actually come up and make an attempt at an honest conversation.

An excellent example of bravery is the fearless Varnika Kundu, a DJ from Chandigarh. Not too long ago, when she was returning home after work, she ended up being followed by a couple of drunk men, one of whom was Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana BJP chief, Subhash Barala. Her perseverance leads to all of the accused, including Vikas, getting arrested for serious crimes including an attempt to abduction.

The law in our country protects women against stalking and it is extremely important to know what does or does not amount to stalking.

The law in our country protects women against stalking and it is extremely important to know what does or does not amount to stalking. Having this knowledge, makes you aware of when the line has been crossed from creepy to criminal and when it’s time to seek help. When and if you ever end up becoming the target of a stalker, it is crucial that you stay calm and try not giving in to the fear. Remember, he is the one at fault here and not you. There are various kinds of stalking that are punishable under Section 354D Indian Penal Code 1860 of the IPC.

If a man, follows, contacts or tries to contact you repeatedly, despite a clear indication of disinterest, he is stalking you and you should ask for help as soon as you realise it.

If a man, follows, contacts or tries to contact you repeatedly, despite a clear indication of disinterest, he is stalking you and you should ask for help as soon as you realise it. In case, you discover that your internet, emails or online presence is being watched in any way, you must immediately report it because in addition to invasion of privacy, this too classifies as stalking. If proven guilty to any of the above, a stalker, upon his first conviction, is punishable for up to 3 years in addition to a fine and 5 years plus fine, in case of his second conviction.

Stalking is a bailable offence. As dangerous and life-threatening as the crime is, it is of utmost importance to women’s safety in the country to make stalking a non-bailable offence.

Stalking is a bailable offence. As dangerous and life-threatening as the crime is, it is of utmost importance to women’s safety in the country to make stalking a non-bailable offence. Varnika Kundu, the DJ from Chandigarh is not leaving any stone unturned to have stalking changed into a non-bailable offence. Sign Varnika’s petition to Rajnath Singh and Maneka Gandhi at the link given below and support Kundu in her huge step to make the country safer for today’s and all future women of our country!

The petition

In Varnika’s case, the police played an extremely positive and vital role in the arrest of Vikas and his friends. They refused to go easy on him despite political pressure, recovered the missing CCTV footage and made sure Kundu got justice. This cannot be stressed enough but it is crucial that you seek help as soon as you possible. If not the police, the Women’s Commision can be approached for help too. If you feel threatened in any way or that you’re being stalked, you can file a complaint online with the National Commision for Women. The link is here.

The commission will then take the matter up with the police. In case of an emergency, without any fear or delay, you can also call at 1091, which caters specifically to women in distress.

Remember. The law is on your side and you mustn’t be afraid because you’re not the one who’s committed a crime. So, go out at whatever time you want and wear whatever makes you comfortable (unless you’re Ranveer Singh, then please don’t).

Opinions are of the writer.

Also Read: Women, just go out and report stalking. Period.

Nandini Arora, part of Safecity’s Writer’s Movement, is an aspiring actuary who loves to write. Although married to numbers, her first love has always been books and writing. She regularly writes about issues such as women’s safety, Feminism, LGBTQ etc. on her blog nandiniaroraweb.wordpress.com.

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