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Home > News > Report

Lovebirds in Delhi have nowhere to go

Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi | October 14, 2003 15:46 IST
Last Updated: October 15, 2003 01:20 IST

Young couples in Delhi areangry.

And who can blame them? The capital has fewlocationswhere they can cosy up without fear of harassment.

The experience of Manish and Richa (names changed) is onemany young peoplein Delhi canrelate to.

Sitting one evening in the picturesque lawns of the Safdarjung Tomb in south Delhi, they were rudely jolted out of their reverie by the shriek of a whistle.

Dressed in a blue uniform, Ram Singh told them with a smile: "Control yourself."

Leaning on his lathi, he continued, "Kyun aisa karte hain aap log? Ghar jayeye (Why do you do all this? Go home)."

Singh is one of the seven guards posted at the tomb. An employee of a private security firm he gets Rs 3,500 every month for an eight-hour shiftat the tomb.

The Archaeological Survey of India, whichmaintains the 18th century monument, has hired the security agency to maintain 'law and order.'

Singh's job is to protect couples from criminals and see that they do not "cross limits."

"It looks bad because lots of tourists come here. Some come with their families andfeel embarrassed bythe sexy scenes," he says.

Security in public parks and historical monuments like the Buddha Garden, Purana Qila and Lodhi Gardens has been increased after four members of the elite President's Bodyguard raped a college girl in Buddha Garden last week.

Some couples visit the parks for theprivacy it offers.Many others arevoyeursorsex workers.

"Security has been provided to maintain law and order," Deputy Commissioner of Police Tajender Luthra said. "We have to ensure safety to the visitors."

Policemen patrol someparks where private security guards arenotposted.

There are criminals,some visitors say, but policemen and the security guards are as intimidating.

When Sandeep (name changed) went to the Buddha Garden with his girlfriend lastfortnighta policemanasked the couplefor their names and addresses.

Scared, both gave false names and addresses. Later he asked for their phone numbers.The policeman threatened to give their parents a call.

Sandeep and his girlfriend pleaded with the policemannot to call their parents. The policemanthen beganlecturing the coupleon morality and asked them not to come to the park again.

The policeman left only after taking Rs 100 from the couple.

"There could be isolated incidents," Luthra said, "I will look into it."

Gardeners at the Lodhi Gardens sayyoung couples are often harassed. "I have never seen policemen harassing couples but a lot of criminals do it. Sometimes we help the girls go home,"one gardener said.

"These couples do not have the courage to complain because the matter will then reach their parents," he added.

"We come here to have agood time," a student at the Safdarjung Tomb said. "Nowadays it is becoming difficult. But if you have confidence and some moneyit can be managed."

"There should be a place exclusively for us. After all, where will we go?" he asked.

More reports from Delhi
Read about: Assembly Election 2003 | Attack on Parliament

Share your comments

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 20

Sub: Public has to become broad minded

Its shamful to have such type of problem in metro like Delhi. There is no such problem in Bangalore, Mumbai or Hyderabad. What I feel ...

Posted by Amit Kumar

Sub: Do they really need a place?

I don't understand what is the logic behind asking a safe place for open immoral act

Posted by Giri

Sub: its the same in Mumbai

The situation is quite similar in Mumbai.... altho things have mellowed down after teh Bandstand controversy......couples still cant be completely chowpatty, couples still get ...

Posted by salil

Sub: sharing comments-reg

Yes there be a control on youngsters and we have to teach them disciplines. But it should be in rightway, otherwise we can appoint psycologists ...

Posted by S.Anandanatean

Sub: stupid rules

hi, why should young people be scared to tell their parents that they are being harrased. things have changed in delhi and in different parts ...

Posted by Rachel



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