As people continue to wear tights to go shopping, many in the city are struggling to come to terms with the fact that this is a public space.
In the past few days, a woman was sexually assaulted in front of a shop in a garment district near Thane, and the police have launched an investigation.
On Saturday, an 11-year-old girl was raped in front, in the same area.
The local police station, the nearest government building, has been the site of frequent protests and demonstrations, but the issue of tights has always been an issue that has been ignored.
“This is not about a social issue, it is about the safety of women and girls,” says Kavita Kumar, a senior activist.
On the first Saturday of every month, the Women’s Conference meets to decide how the city will handle the issue.
In April, it voted to prohibit tights.
But in May, the issue got a second go, with members of the local committee meeting to discuss the proposal and come to a decision.
“There are people who have come to us and asked us to go ahead with it,” says Thane-based lawyer Kishore Natarajan.
“But if we don’t do it, the people will not be able to get rid of the problem.”
A few days before the women’s conference, a protest was held at the site, when people wore tights at night to protest against the police brutality against women in the garment district.
“We don’t want to be associated with this issue, because it is not just the women but also the men who suffer.
If it is allowed to go on like this, then the issue will continue to be raised,” says Nataravans lawyer.
A protest in Thane to protest the recent rape of a woman by a shopkeeper.
Nataraja says it is “too late” for the ban on tights, but has called on the authorities to act swiftly.
“The women are the most vulnerable in the society, so the police need to ensure the safety and security of the women and the community.
We demand the authorities give priority to the safety, security and protection of women in this area,” she says.
Thane is a traditionally working-class area, but with the recent wave of attacks, there are fears of a return to traditional culture.
The main shopping malls in the district, like Janaan, are popular with tourists, but it is a place where women are often attacked.
“People don’t like to talk about the problems they face, but they know that we are in a crisis,” says resident Muthu Devi.
“If the police don’t take action now, we will see more incidents like this.”