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‘Fears over late night travelling will hit IT industry'

M.P. Praveen


Police patrolling near Infopark campus intensified

‘IT professionals cite eve-teasing as a major issue'


KOCHI: The assault on a woman information technology (IT) professional late on Sunday night has brought into sharp focus the vulnerability of women employees who are forced to travel during late hours owing to job compulsions.

The IT industry workers feel that it was symptomatic of a larger malaise. “The incident is in no way specific to the IT industry, as the victim could have been a woman from any profession,” Gigo Joseph, Chief Executive Officer of Infopark Kochi, told The Hindu on Friday.

He, however, said that Infopark had got police patrolling intensified near its campus. This was after a recent incident in which a woman professional in a software firm at Infopark complained of an attempt by strangers to intrude into her car just outside the campus around 8 p.m.

A law-and-order issue

“We have also forwarded to the government a proposal for a cyber police station adjacent to the campus,” Mr. Joseph said.

It is learned that Infopark is willing to allocate land and construct the building, subject to the approval of the government.

Anoop P. Ambika, secretary of the Group of Technology Companies (GTECH), felt that while the incident was indeed damaging to the image of the State as an IT investment destination, it should be viewed as a law-and-order issue.

“If the government is interested in promoting the IT industry, it should keep more vigil and ensure a safe surrounding, especially for women, to move around,” he said. Mr. Anoop said that the IT parks should ensure a strong police presence during hours when there was high concentration of women moving around.

With more and more companies, based outside the country, demanding compatible timing, employees would have to stay back late. Apprehensions over late night travelling among women employees and their family would adversely affect the industry, he said.

Sunil Balakrishnan, Kochi Centre Head of UST Global, felt that the incident would not have much of an impact on the IT industry as it was not industry-specific. “The question is whether women can move around during night time and that's a law-and-order issue.” he said.

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