Addressing the abysmal 9.6% conviction rate of rape cases in Maharashtra, the home department has asked the police to find out the gaps in the system that is delaying justice to victims.
The police commissioner and every superintendent of police, at a meeting in Mantralaya on Thursday, has been told to identify and analyse three ongoing rape cases in each district and find out why victims did not get immediate justice.
The meeting was attended by Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Dayal and other senior police officials.
“On many occasions, loopholes in the system delay justice to rape victims. We need to identify the problem areas. We want to see if we have made mistakes at filing an FIR, or if the lawyer has not pleaded the case well or other issues such as lack of coordination between the police and lawyer. These gaps will be identified and cases will be fast-tracked,” said minister of state for home Satej Patil, who presided over the meeting along with home minister RR Patil.
After the gaps are identified, they will be charted out and included in police sensitisation workshops.
Along with police constables, the government has asked for increase in presence of senior police officials on roads and public places, which will instill a sense of security in people.
They will also need to publicly share their mobile numbers and display police station numbers in all colleges in their jurisdiction.
“While we are working towards strengthening laws and improving the conviction rate, we felt what is lacking is the presence of senior police officials on roads. When people see senior police in public places, it will act as a deterrent,” added Patil.
The government has also asked for constant patrolling of women constables in plainclothes around colleges.
It has instructed senior inspectors to visit nearby educational institutes and talk to students about cases on their campus.
“We want the police to get friendlier with students. This will encourage boys and girls to come forth with their complaints. They have been also instructed to share their mobile numbers the police station numbers so they are easily accessible,” he added.