Delhi Police swear by women's safety

Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said here on Friday that the force’s focus this year would entirely be on safety of women and announced several new measures, following widespread criticism and demonstrations over the December 16 gang-rape. He said there would be zero tolerance for rape, molestation and eve-teasing.

Addressing mediapersons at the Delhi Police annual press conference, Kumar also termed the 23-year-old paramedical student’s death as a turning point in the force’s history. “This case has given a new direction to the criminal justice system of India and our focus will be on women’s safety,” he said after observing a two-minute silence in honour of the “brave girl” who died on December 29. “It has the power, strength and propulsion to bring about major changes in the way offences against women are dealt with by police, prosecution, courts and even medical teams,” he added.

When asked if he felt the need to resign taking moral responsibility, he said: “Not at all. Never, as my work is to lead the force. I need to keep the morale of the force high. I have said ‘I am not a quitter’. I will continue to lead the force till the government has faith in me.”

Cases of rape (706) and molestation (727) shot up in the Capital by 23.43 and 10.65 per cent in comparison to 572 cases of rape and 657 cases of molestation being registered in 2011. Barring 26 cases, 680 rape victims were acquainted with the accused. And 75 cases of molestation were reported in the last 15 days of 2012.

Highlighting the statistics, Kumar said they have provided self-defence training to 8,180 girls. Several action were immediately taken after the gang-rape incident came to light. It included challans of 14,789 public vehicles with black films and tinted glasses, 1,988 unauthorised buses picking up passengers from crowded bus stands, 966 drunken drivers and 1,467 staff without PSV badges.

Closed-circuit television cameras are being installed along key arterial routes and buses, and local police and police control room vans will be deployed outside girls’ schools and colleges at opening and closing time.

The women help desk at police stations which were earlier available till 8 pm have now been made operational 24x7. “They have also been provided with exclusive telephone lines, and women complainants will not to be made to wait,” Kumar said.

Jurisdictional issues have also been stopped, with Kumar saying order has been given to police personnel to attend every complaint before passing the case on to respective police station. “Complaints from women will be recorded verbatim and particulars of women complainants will be kept secret,” he said.

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