01/13/2007, 00.00
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Women attack and denounce the man who molested them

by Nirmala Carvalho
Female labourers in a Nagpur factory beat up and drag one of their supervisors to the police. The man had been sexually exploiting them for some time. Awareness of their rights increases among Indian women, but also distrust of the judicial system.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Exhausted by a judicial system that does not give sufficient attention to their plight, a group of Indian women, victims of sexual abuse, decide to take matters into their own hands.  Nagpur, in western India’s Mahrashtra state, has witnessed episodes of this kind before.  In this latest case a group of female labourers in the Korad Thermal Power Station, attacked a welfare officer, who was guilty of sexually exploiting them over a prolonged period of time. 
On January 11th, the women waited for Arun Birajdar outside his home, where they thrashed and beat him up.  They stripped him of his clothes and dragged him half naked through the city to the nearest police station. The man had been blackmailing and sexually exploiting female employees since 2002: he had even promised one women to find work for her husband if she yielded to his demands. 
Birajdar was arrested for violations of diverse sections of the Prevention of SC/ST (Atrocieties) Act; in other words the law which guards the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the untouchables. Five other people where also arrested .

Indian sociologists are noticing a growth of awareness among Indian women, who are slowly finding the courage to come out into the open and denounce the violence and discrimination of which they are often victims.  
Experts maintain that the phenomenon is rooted in a vast and deep distrust of the judicial system, which in theory should defend the women.  However the complaints lodged by women against their abusers often go unheard, exasperating the victims who then take matters into their own hands.
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