Saturday, April 21, 2007

Parks have become a haven for unseemly activities

Parks have become a haven for unseemly activities

Besides the problem of hijras, visitors to Cubbon Park also have to bear with drunkards, writes K.V. Subramanya

THE HEBBAL police, who arrested Nagaraj a few days ago, discovered a crime trail where he had enticed some gays and robbed them of their valuables, including jewellery, after taking them to secluded places in Cubbon Park.

The city has been seeing some of our parks, particularly the scenic Cubbon Park, being taken over by those who have not exactly come to breathe the bracing air.

People are often embarrassed by some unseemly public displays that take place brazenly.

Commercial sex workers, mainly hijras, soliciting customers has become routine here and at the M.N. Krishna Rao Park in Basavanagudi.

There have also been incidents of people being robbed by criminal gangs and hijras. A few weeks ago, Vikram, a student coming out of Karnataka Lawn Tennis Association after practice, was robbed of a gold chain and a mobile phone at Cubbon Park by a hijra.

One can find several hijras, clad in flashy saris and "chudidars," lined up along the metal grill of Cubbon Park on Kasturba Road, soliciting customers, both during the day and night. There have also been complaints of their harassing visitors to the park to pay them money.

Both the police and the Horticulture Department that maintains the park do not seem to have taken the issue seriously. A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, admitted that the Cubbon Park was a haven for hijras soliciting customers. It was not that the police had been idle, he said.

Often they have been chased out, but the hijras tend to unsettle the lawmen by disrobing themselves. Besides the problem of hijras, the visitors to the Cubbon Park also have to bear with drunkards, who often hit the bottle right inside the park. There are also reports of the park being a haven for substance abusers.

Visitors to the M.N. Krishna Rao Park in Basavanagudi also complain of a similar problem. Sometime ago, a hijra accosted a travel agent in the park and sought a lift on his motorcycle to Minerva Circle. In no time the travel agent found himself parting with his gold chain.

Though the public concedes that parks in the city say are well maintained, there is no authority to check the unlawful activities that take place in them. All the parks in Bangalore, except Lalbagh, have unrestricted entry round the clock. Only Lalbagh charges an entry fee and is closed during the night.

Volunteers of Sangama, an NGO working with sexual minorities, said hijras harassing the visitors to the parks are stray incidents. The police, mainly constables, harass them for huge bribes, they alleged. The hijras resort to sex work as it was the only form of vocation for them, the volunteers said.


At Friday, January 25, 2008 at 3:18:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Coimbatore. Where else would a sexually frustated guy go, other than Cubbon park etc? Its much better that eunuchs are providing the service. Otherwise there would be more rapes.

Authorities must provide safe and secluded places( at nominal rent) to carry out these activites; Otherwise King & Queens will continue to use the parks.

At Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 12:51:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do u have the guts to employ hijra?
are they not capable of work, they want acceptance, are able to provide very high levels of dedication, some of them are very intelligent and highly educated. it is just society i.e. me and u who has pushed them into this. are you willing to face the responsibility of ur deeds, give them a break! a chance to live as an equal


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