Promises made and measures taken by govt to make Delhi safer after Nirbhaya gang-rape case

The Delhi government has taken a slew of steps to ensure women's safety, including installation of CCTV cameras, street lights
Last Updated : 15 December 2022, 15:39 IST
Last Updated : 15 December 2022, 15:39 IST

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After the horrific Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case in Delhi in 2012, safety of women emerged as one of the top priorities in the national capital. The Delhi government has since taken a slew of steps in that regard, including installation of CCTV cameras, street lights to light up dark spots and deployment of marshals in buses.

Here are some of the announcements that were made to ensure safety in the capital:

Nirbhaya Fund

After the disturbing rape case, the government of India set up a pool of fund in 2013 with a goal of implementing initiatives that were aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women in the country using the deposits.

However, misappropriation of the fund has been brought to light of-late. It has been reported that some of the vehicles procured under the Nirbhaya Fund have been used to provide Y-plus security cover to the MLAs and MPs of the Shiv Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. In June this year, the Mumbai police force procured 220 Boleros, 35 Ertigas, 313 Pulsar motorcycles and 200 Activa two-wheelers using the Rs 30 crore corpus that it had received under the Nirbhaya Fund.

The fund is being given to the state governments by the Centre since 2013 to implement schemes related to women's safety.

Women patrol squads

To instill safety on the roads of Delhi, 'All women patrolling squads' were introduced in the capital city back in 2018 on the occasion of International Women's day.

Adhering to the same objective, Prashakti Beat Staff and Veera Squad comprising women staff have also been constituted to serve the purpose of women’s safety.

This was to see increased participation of women officers at every level. The traditional policing roles of crime prevention and detection were earlier considered male bastions.

Prashakti Beat Staff and Veera Squad were to be deployed for intensive patrolling duty in sensitive areas to control street crime, and crime against women and children.

Pink booth

To cater to genuine grievances of women and take immediate legal action on their complaints, 'Pink Booth' run by all-women staff has been started at Karol Bagh police station to resolve the grievances of citizens.

The booth is an attempt to provide a safe complaint redressal mechanism for women and girls in busy market areas that they frequent. The purpose is to sensitise citizens about the trends of crime and obtain their feedback.

They will also motivate young women and girls to report incidents of violence against them.

CCTV cameras and panic buttons

Over two lakh CCTV cameras have been installed across Delhi and more than one lakh devices are in the process under a government project aimed at ensuring safety of women, as per the data collected by PTI.

After the Delhi rape case, the government set out on a mission to procure buses equipped with panic buttons, CCTV cameras and global positioning system (GPS) device. In 2019, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that his government would install three CCTV cameras, 10 panic buttons and GPS devices in each of the existing 5,500 DTC and cluster buses, which he said was aimed at making women passengers feel safer in public transport.

However, in December 2022, the Delhi High Court directed the city government to ensure completion of a project for installation of panic buttons and tracking devices in all Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses.

The high court was informed by the Delhi government that all new buses being inducted under the cluster scheme and in the DTC fleet are equipped with CCTV, panic buttons and vehicle tracking system, as per the statutory requirement.

It was also told that as per the agreement executed between the government and the contractor, the project is being implemented in the existing 5541 buses, which include 3762 DTC and 1679 cluster buses. Panic buttons and Automatic Vehicle Location Tracking System (AVLTS) are being installed.

However, at present, all buses have not been equipped with such systems as the project got delayed on account of the Covid outbreak.

A petition, by Anti Corruption Council of India, claimed the Delhi government and the transport department have done "nothing" to ensure security of women commuters on the buses. It had sought directions to the Delhi government to deploy one police officer as well as install CCTV cameras on each public transport bus in the city to ensure the safety of commuters.

Bus marshals

Kejriwal announced on October 2019 that a marshal would be deployed in every bus of the capital to ensure women safety. As per PTI, Over 14,000 marshals had been deployed every day in all DTC and cluster buses, a move also directed at ensuring women safety in Delhi.

The government had also made it mandatory for all public vehicles, including buses, auto-rickshaws, taxis and cabs, to install GPS device, which intends to track their location in case of crime cases.

Street lights

As part of women safety measures, the government decided to light up "dark spots." "Two lakh LED street lights are being installed to light up dark spots. Municipal corporations have also been installing street lights in their respective areas,” an official had said.

Space for conversations

Under the initiative, an hour-long classroom discussion on respecting women were being conducted.

Nirbhaya was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, inside a running bus in south Delhi by six people and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Despite the claims made by the politicians and measures ideated, the number of crimes committed against women in the past few years show otherwise. As per the National Crime Records Bureau data, in the year 2019, 13,395 crimes against women had been recorded in the national capital. 2020 saw 10,093 such crimes while the 2021 number surpassed both the preceding years, with 14,277 cases recorded.

(With agency inputs)

Published 15 December 2022, 14:13 IST

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