Hyderabad: A shadow emerges from the dark Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park (KBR Park in short) parking lot. The silhouette materialises into a figure dressed in a skirt. Within no time, another figure, draped in a sari, emerges. In a few minutes, this creates a flurry of young men on mopeds and motorcycles, either trying to catch a glimpse out of curiosity, or are trying to solicit sex. KBR Park, a popular spot in the morning and evening for walkers and fitness enthusiasts, reveals its dark underbelly late at night – a spot for anti-social activity.
Those who are returning from work, or are out on a casual drive or those who reach the KBR Park for a late-night snack at one of the many eateries which dot its periphery are subjected to loud claps, catcalls and even vulgar remarks from those indulging in sex-work. This apparently happens at a minimum of two parking lots of the park.
“While the park itself remains closed at night, the problem is that many of these parking lots around the park are poorly lit. They are dark and this becomes a problem. These people make lewd gestures and remarks to those who are passing by. “The number of people who approach them is surprising,” said Aditya (name changed to protect identity) who recently had dinner with his friend at an eatery near the park and then went for a short walk where he encountered ‘anti-social’ activity.
Others, who are late night walkers or joggers, said that the anti-social activity makes them uncomfortable. At times, they have considered jogging elsewhere. They explain, “During the lockdown, we didn’t venture out. But after the series of ‘unlocks’ announced by the government, we started to go there to jog. Prostitution there has reached horrible levels. They are usually standing near the parking lot at the Road Number 45 junction and the next parking lot, which is at the Filmnagar Junction. You can see many of them here. Sometimes they are standing at the next parking lot as well. This makes people like me very uncomfortable,” said Khizar Ahmed (name changed), who deals in healthcare logistics.
Another professional who is an ardent walker said that he was surprised to see that the activity has not been brought to a complete halt by the authorities. He said that the city police should take note of what is happening at the park. “There are a lot of CCTV cameras that have been installed. Why cannot the authorities watch the footage and put a complete stop to this? The other thing that can be done is to increase police patrolling around the park,” one of the walkers said.