SECURITY AND SAFETY OF WOMEN – by Shantonu Sen
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.