Rape investigation kits must in all police stations

The specially-designed rape investigation kits should be made available in all police stations immediately, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Tuesday. DH file photo

The specially-designed rape investigation kits should be made available in all police stations immediately, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Tuesday.

The kits are designed to carry out immediate medical investigation and aid in furnishing evidence in sexual assault and rape cases.

Each kit has a set of test tubes and bottles and costs Rs 200 to Rs 300. Its contents and specifications have been finalised, an official at the Ministry of Women and Child Development said, adding that these could be subsequently bought by state governments independently.

The official said the first lot of the kits was procured by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and it has already started imparting forensic training to officials.

Speaking at the launch of a handbook on 'Legal processes for police in respect of crime against children' here, Gandhi asserted that her ministry has taken several steps to fight crimes against women and children.

"We looked at the loopholes. The first ones we found were in the forensic department. We just have the forensic capability for testing 1,500 people. We used the Nirbhaya fund and with the help of the Ministry of Home Affairs, we are building five new forensic laboratories that will increase the capacity from 1,500 to 20,000," she said.

The Union minister said all police stations should have the rape investigation kits right away.

Weak evidence

"At times the forensic laboratories receive compromised evidence. That is why there is a need to distribute the rape investigation kit to every police station," she said.

Gandhi added that once such kits are provided, training is given to police officials in forensics and the capacity of forensic laboratories is increased.

It will help in solving sexual assault cases much faster, she added.

The handbook was brought out by BPR&D in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

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