Overcome by fear, sadness, and anger following the kidnapping and murder of Andrea Bharatt, Barrackpore merchandiser Nalina Doodan appealed to the powers that be to protect her and other women.
“Why do we have to be cautious when we going out? Why we can’t live life in peace?” she asked.
Doodan was among a group of workers who joined the nationwide outcry for an end to violence against women following the kidnapping and murder of 23-year-old Bharatt.
Standing with placards in front of Family Mart Supermarket and Pharmacy in Barrackpore, the workers chanted: “Enough is Enough.”
Doodan said Andrea’s murder hit close to home as she travels to work, is pursuing her degree, and is also 23 years old. She said she never felt safe travelling and now more than ever she is not taking any chances.
“Sometimes travelling really does not feel safe . . . It does not feel safe because there are guys, there are men, who feel it is okay to just make these comments at us. I can’t even wait for a taxi on the road without somebody popping a horn or sooting us or something like that and it really is disgusting and it makes me so angry,” she said.
Doodan said she kept silent because she was afraid of what they might do to her. She called for tough measures against criminals who commit violent and sexual crimes, including making the offences non-bailable.
Hitting back at people who blame women when they are attacked, she said: “Women are always downgraded for everything. Men get away with everything. Rapists cause rape, not women. We are not causing that.”
Doodan also called for the legalising of pepper spray and other personal protection items for women to protect themselves.
“Some type of self-defence for us, for us to keep on ourselves because you know these things are illegal right now, for example, pepper spray,” she said.
Mithoon Hardeo, Bryden’s trade marketing supervisor, said T&T is in mourning and terrified.
“I think everyone is mourning today. I think it has been challenging for a lot of us, mentally. We all have sisters, we have nieces in our family and I think it really hit home, and as the placard says enough is enough.”
Hardeo said he has had sleepless nights thinking about Andrea’s ordeal and the precipice where her body was found. He appealed for stronger security systems to be implemented to protect the public.
“I think the Commissioner of Police, the police officers, I think we need better security for our families, for our loved ones. We need to be safe. We need to feel safe. We not feeling safe anymore in our country,” he said.
“PH cars need to go. I think we need to have a proper system for travelling.”
Hardeo also appealed to “keyboard warriors” to move from their computers and let their voices be heard.
Barrackpore residents planned to host a candlelight walk from the Barrackpore Police Station to GP Ground last night.