Delhi cops told to make city safer for women
Expressing concern over a spurt in the number of rape cases in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has asked the city police to be more 'vigilant and prompt' in ensuring safety for women and 'end the atmosphere of panic'.
A high-level meeting presided over by Dikshit and attended by Delhi Police Chief B K Gupta and Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Barkha Singh among others suggested setting up of fast track courts to prosecute rape accused and decided to increase helpline numbers of rape crisis cell under DCW.
There have been four cases of rape in the city in the last two months.
Ahead of the meeting, Dikshit met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Dikshit went alone for the meeting, which lasted for around 30 minutes.
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Image: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit
'We have to end this atmosphere of panic'
Both Delhi government and the police were of the opinion that rape cases should be tried by special fast track courts on a day-to-day basis, officials attending the meeting said.
They said the police will formally approach the city government to process setting up of such courts, they added.
"We discussed the entire situation. We finalised several measures to make women feel secure in the state. What government can do, we will do. We are concerned over the incidents, so are the police. We have to end this atmosphere of panic," Dikshit told media persons after the meeting.
She said government, police and women organisations must work together to instill a sense of confidence in women and ensure their safety.
More women cops, gender sensitisation...
The meeting came against the backdrop of a series of abduction and gangrape of young women in the past two months, which led to a public outrage and raised questions over safety of women in the country's capital.
In the meeting, Gupta gave an account of the measures being taken to ensure safety of women in the city.
The measures include deployment of more women officers, gender sensitisation, fast response, deployment of PCR vans in vulnerable areas and setting up of citizen panchayats.
Gupta said more personnel with proficiency in English will be deployed in its women help line service. Gupta also said 100 Hyundai cars will be deployed to monitor patrolling by police personnel.
Some more proposals
He noted that the Delhi Police has sent a proposal to Union Home Ministry to amend Motor Vehicle Act to enhance fines on use of tinted glass and drunken driving.
It was suggested that an ordinance could also be issued for which the Union government will be approached.
The DCW suggested all call centre cabs should have GPS system. The Commission also requested the government to provide temporary shelter for rape victims.
It was decided to strengthen the Delhi Commission for Women to enable it to work on a supplementary mechanism to ensure women safety, officials said.
The Commission also stressed on the need of a proper coordination with hospitals so that medical examination of rape victims could be conducted immediately to avoid chances of destroying evidence.
Women and Child Welfare Minister Minister Kiran Walia, Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta and several top officials of Delhi government were present at the meeting.