Long march held in Mumbai against eve-teasing

Mumbai: In the background of murder of two youths who resisted an eve-teasing attempt on their female companions by four persons, about 300 citizens on Sunday took out a march in the suburban Mumbai demanding eve teasing be made a non-bailable offence.

The long march from Andheri (west) to Amboli was organised to protest against the recent murders of Reuben Fernandes and Keenan Santos, who were killed after they protested against eve-teasing.

The march was organised by the activists belonging to NGOs Yuva Satta and Zero Tolerance as well as India against Corruption.

"We are carrying out a signature campaign, both through public support and with an online campaign through social networking websites. The campaign is to demand that sections 354 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code must be made stronger. At present offences such as eve teasing and sexual harassment are bailable.

This is one of the major reasons why offenders soon turn out to be habitual offenders--which were clearly seen during the incident which eventually took the lives of Reuben and Keenan. The offenders went to an extent of killing those who opposed them. Hence we want the offence to be declared as a non-bailable offence," the activists said.

We were preparing a petition with at least on lakh signatures to be sent to Home Minister RR Patil, they added.

Meanwhile, family members of both the victims did not participate in the march.

On October 20, Rueben Fernandes (28) and Keenan Sentos (25) were attacked with choppers by a group of four, after the duo objected to their alleged acts of indecent behaviour against their women companions. Keenan died on the spot, while Rueben died in a hospital on last Monday.

The victims along with five others, including three girls, had gone to a bar to have dinner. After a while, they came out of the restaurant and were standing near a pan-shop, when the incident had occurred, police had said.