State plans speedy justice for women

Ten fast-track courts may be set up to help victims of public and domestic violence

State plans speedy justice for women

The State government will soon set up 10 fast-track courts to tackle crimes against women.

Addressing a gathering at the inaugural session of the two-day national conference on women’s safety and security here on Thursday, Home Minister K J George said that freedom for women is yet to be achieved as far as social and economic freedom is concerned. He said that women still lack opportunities when it comes to their growth. “The Women’s Reservation Bill, once passed, will usher in a change for society and women in particular,” he said.

Governor H R Bhardwaj said that the time has now come to have a special law to approve stricter punishments for those guilty of atrocities against women. He categorised the lack of proper law enforcement as a by-product of sycophancy in the police. He said many times honest police officers do not get their due and those who indulge in sycophancy get promoted. “How can you expect the sycophants to take on the responsibility of safety for women and women’s security?” he asked.

A message by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who could not attend the event, was also read out. In his message, the chief minister said that short-term solutions such as the installation of CCTV cameras at strategic places, the beefing up of police security systems and closely monitoring them should be undertaken to ensure the safety of women in public places.

Jija Madhavan Harisingh, the former DGP and the chairperson of the organising committee of the conference, said that reforms in the police system are being done to ensure safety, in addition to recruiting more women for the police force. She said that laws for protecting women and ensuring their safety exists but the lacunae in the enforcement of these laws have to be dealt with.

Alan Nazareth, former diplomat, said: “Gandhiji had once said that he would consider India free when a young woman decked in jewels could walk on the street at midnight and feel safe. To call woman the weaker sex is a libel, it is man’s injustice to woman. If strength means brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior.”

He said that every part of the country is witnessing crimes against women and it is not that these crimes are being committed by the uneducated men but by men of higher repute including a  former judge, holymen and even a respectable editor. He said that a bill against sexual harassment of women was readied earlier this year and that even the president of the country had signed it, but that it is yet to be notified by the appropriate ministry.

At the end of the two-day conference, recommendations will be sent to the government for consideration.

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