An epidemic of rapes across Delhi, India, has led police to issue orders for taxis and employers to protect female employees at night. Taxis and companies that don't comply could face criminal charges and fines.
Over the past few weeks, Delhi has experienced a string of rapes, none worse than the brutal gang rape of a 30-year-old call center worker after a taxi dropped her off near her home three weeks ago, reports the BBC. Since the start of the year, 433 rapes have been reported in New Delhi, more than one a day, notes India's Business Standard. A recent Times of India poll found that approximately two-thirds of women in Delhi and nearby Gargaon feel unsafe.
To protect women who travel home from work at night, the Delhi Police orders mandate call centers, corporations, and media organizations ensure female employees arrive home safely. To ensure that occurs, a company security guard must accompany the woman home, verify she is safely inside her quarters, and make sure she is neither the first nor last employee to be picked up or dropped off, according to The Economic Times.
Employers who violate the law could face six months in jail, a fine of 1,000 rupees, or both, reports the Indo-Asian News Service.
But the Business Standard casts a skeptical eye toward the regulation.
"Those who do not follow the order issued by Delhi Police are liable to be punished with a fine or even jail for six months, but it’s not very clear whether the guidelines are being followed by companies or even being monitored," according to the business daily.