SECURITY AND SAFETY OF WOMEN – by Shantonu Sen

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The Nihal Chand affair has become big news in Delhi. He is a Minister of State in the Modi Ministry. He iis a BJP MP from Ganganagar Rajasthan.  Along wiith 16 others he is charged with gang rape and a court has summoned him to answer the charges.  Nearly  one and half year after Nirbhay , a gruesome instance of a rape preceded   by a murderous attack  in the  safe environs of the urban  Delhi inside a public bus   in the early part of the night, between 9:30pm and 10: 20pm on 16th December 2012h which  exposed the capital of India as a lawless city as no other instance could possibly have,  an issue of sexual crime is getting attention in Delhi . The Delhi incident was sordid and shameful . It was perversion. Yet it took some time to  grip the nation but when it did the Government was shaken and teetered on the edge. This happened as facts emerged.    The fact that the bus in question was issued a permit to operate though it had applied  from a fake address in Delhi and the fact the bus driver with his six companions had set out after a long drinking session in the evening of that fateful day  on a crime spree was seen as evidence  and proof  that the maintenance of law in the area of street crime was inadequate.  The fact that  criminals  took  advantage of  slackness on the part of enforcement agencies across the board in Delhi. In fact , minutes before these brutal bestial acts, these criminals induced a unwary passenger into the bus and robbed him off his cash on his person and his mobile phone and thrown him out of the bus. This was around 8:40pm and the robbed victim had rung up the Haus Khas P.S. to report the incident. Though the District DCP is located in the same building the thana officials who received the complaint just asked the complainant to call another police station. Even 100 was not alerted by them.  Delhi seethed with anger .

In this background   it  was   imperative  to announce zero tolerance for crimes against women. The LT. Governor . Delhi  did so  and further ordered that any  report of any kind of misconduct against women has to be registered for an enquiry and if enquiry suggests that the incident is a crime, law should take its course. If the incident falls short of a crime but is a deviant behavior the person concerned must, by effective and incisive use of provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code and the Delhi Police Act , feel enough heat to think ten times before repeating his deviant behavior again. The complaint of the women and /or her male companion must not be questioned  but must be  treated as  genuine and an  honest complaint.    The  complaint will be recorded in the manner reported and in no case the complainant will be asked any reasons as to how she was where she was or what was her relationship with the person she has charged with the crime or how she was out at that time of the night or has she considered what would happen to her reputation if she persisted with her complainant etc.

He also took a meeting with Women’s Right Groups in Delhi immediately . The first meeting with the women’s right group was  on the 23rd   December and it was followed on     28th  December meeting  with the C P I student Group and their leaders in Delhi  in the Rajniwas  Delhi. The Commissioner of Police and all his officers were present at these meetings.  All held the Delhi Police guilty of ignoring sexual crimes against women. They accused it of reacting  only when something so shameless and so brutal and heinous happens ., They went on to charge the police with much worse. School girls are regularly  targeted when they leave  school when it closes . The Police on duty watches and later joins the criminals in having tea with them. No police station at night is functional as the men on duty are  drunk. Women feel unsafe in reporting crimes against them in any police station. Women police women are not available to women complainants. Women are dissuaded from lodging complaints  with  stories of long court delays and are encouraged to settle with their tormentors .Some other complaints made included the charge that at night the police pickets become points of extortion, senior police  men no longer go on night rounds , the beat constables and head constables  indulge in extortion.     While  these groups are ready to go after these sexual predators  police has never sought   their assistance.

A meeting point is needed,  it was decided. A monitoring group  comprising women rights groups , student bodies with the  empathy and representative of Delhi Police was set up.  L G  created this group .  This group met at Police Headquarters on the 28th of each month to take stock of how  Sexual Crimes were being prevented and investigated by Delhi Police This group  also met the L G  every three months till he  was replaced on 9th July 2013. An atmosphere of free reporting of crimes against them came about, There was , with in months over 70% more reporting of  crimes against women.  Many more cases of rape were , also,  being registered. These were mostly  instances of   sexual consent  obtained on the pretext of marriage and then refusing marriage.  Such cases were never registered in the past. By brushing under the carpet  the charges of gang rape . Nihal Chand and BJP  are  in denial, a cardinal error  in the making.

 

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