'Most victims knew accused, cases prevalent in slum clusters'

'Most victims knew accused, cases prevalent in slum clusters'

Deepak Mishra, special commissioner of police (law and order), talks about the police measures which might make a difference in fighting crimes like the recent gang rape against children.

Excerpts from a conversation with Vishnu Sukumaran:

Following the widespread protests over the gang rape, have Delhi Police initiated new measures for safety of minors?

We are trying to resolutely implement existing measures. Rapes and sexual assault committed by persons known to the victims come under the category of
unpreventable crimes, as police cannot prevent most such crimes from happening. We take action over missing children and kidnapping reports, and trace the child as soon as possible. Police stations have been ordered to begin probe as soon as a verbal complaint is received. We are also strengthening our beat patrolling.

Has the department identified any particular pattern in rape and molestation cases of minors reported over the years?

We have identified that most of the victims knew the accused. The list of accused includes fathers, stepfathers, brothers and mostly neighbours. It has also been found that most of the cases are reported from slum clusters. We hope to collaborate with NGOs to work in slum clusters and make them aware about these incidents. We are already conducting sessions of self-defence training across centres in the capital. Minors will not be able to fight, but self-defence training may help them raise alarm.

It has also come to light that the landlord of the house, where the gang rape occurred, did not get his tenants verified by police. What action will be taken in such cases?

We have filed a case against the landlord with Gandhi Nagar police station. He faces a charge under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which refers to disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant. Our police station staff has also begun to focus more on police verification of tenants in their area. We are also keeping watch on bad characters registered with police stations.   

Any action over allegations that police hesitate to file cases and try to hush up the matter?

We have suspended an SHO and the investigating officer of Gandhi Nagar police station over such an allegation. We hope that it will be a lesson for the entire force. On the other hand, it has also to be considered that not every police officer faces such allegation. If one member of a family is involved in a criminal activity, we cannot blame the entire family of being part of the crime. Similarly, we cannot blame the entire force if officers of a particular police station committed any mistake. We will take strict action if such cases are reported in future.

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