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Rediff.com  » News » Karnataka sets up dedicated helpline for women

Karnataka sets up dedicated helpline for women

Last updated on: January 03, 2013 15:07 IST

Stepping up measures for women's safety in the backdrop of growing demands for such action, the Karnataka government on Thursday set up a dedicated helpline.

Women in distress and those facing a threat of attack, including molestation, could dial 1091.

The helpline in Bangalore would work 24x7, state Home Minister R Ashok told reporters.

The government initiative comes in the backdrop of national outrage over the gangrape of a para-medical student in Delhi and several incidents of rapes in the state in the past fortnight.

Voicing concern over rape incidents, state Energy Minister Shoba Karandlaje had on Wednesday urged the BJP government in the state to amend laws to provide for stringent punishment, including surgical castration, to perpetrators of crime against women.

Ashok also said that a high-level committee comprising officials of the law and home ministries will be set up to look into cases of sexual harassment.

He added that 110 patrol jeeps and 367 motorcycles would be deployed to cater to the calls to the women's helpline.

Strict action would be taken against those officers who refuse to cooperate with the victim and register a complaint, he said. All rape cases would be booked under the Goonda Act and special vigil would be undertaken outside girl's hostels.

It would be mandatory for all vehicles -- which ferry BPO employees and IT professionals after night shifts -- to get GPS installed. All travel agencies would also have to register their vehicles with the jurisdictional police station.

The new helpline will initially operate in Bengaluru but it would be soon extended to the entire city.

"Till then, women can call at 100 to report crimes," he said.

He also said the police have issued an advisory to all BPO and IT firms to inform the government about the steps they have initiated for the security of women in their establishments.

He said all BPO, MNCs and IT companies have been directed to maintain a record of details about drivers.

The government has also made it compulsory for those running paying guest units and hostels for women to register with police.

The police have stepped up vigils across all women colleges to check cases of eve-teasing and patrolling in vast vacant lands owned by universities and defence establishments, he said.

CCTV cameras would also be installed in public places.

The minister said all private schools have been directed to furnish details of drivers hired by them to police in the backdrop of allegation of sexual harassment of girl children by vehicle crew.

With inputs from PTI

Vicky Nanjappa