Bangalore to shut down Thursday over rapes

Bangalore, July 30 (IANS) About 50 pro-Kannada organisations have called for a shutdown in the city Thursday to protest the increasing incidents of rape of minors and crimes against women. ”Associations of government employees, lawyers, hotels, taxis and autos and women’s groups are supporting us to ensure a 12-hour shutdown tomorrow (Thursday) from 6 a.m. to protest the spate of crimes against women, especially minors in the city,” Vatal Nagaraj, president of the umbrella group of organisations, told reporters here Wednesday.

The organisations, however, exempted essential services, including milk supply, ambulances, trains and inter-state buses from the shutdown. ”We have appealed to the state-run BMTC not to operate bus services across the city and urged schools, colleges, private companies including IT firms, shops, theatres and markets to declare a holiday and join us in the protest,” Nagaraj said.

A protest rally will be taken out from Town Hall to the state secretariat in the city centre and a memorandum will be submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to check crimes against women and take stringent action against the perpetrators.”The ruling Congress government and its police have miserably failed to ensure safety of minors, girls and women in the city, as evident from reports of sexual assault on minors and crimes against women almost every day,” Nagaraj said.

The private schools’ association has declared a holiday to ensure the safety of their students. In view of public outrage and massive protests by parents, students, social activists and women’s organisations over the alleged rape of a six-year-old student in an elite school July 3 and of a seven-year-old student at a maid’s house by her son July 25, police have tightened security and stepped up vigil across the city to maintain law and order.

“We are deploying about 17,000 personnel, including 20 platoons of the state reserve police and about 1,000 home guards across the city, to prevent any untoward incident,” city police commissioner M.N. Reddi told reporters.