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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Police indifferent to govt rape counsellors

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 01, 2013
First Published: 23:52 IST(1/1/2013) | Last Updated: 23:53 IST(1/1/2013)

Revealing an urgent need for sensitisation of the police force in dealing with sexual assault cases, a review of the crisis intervention centres (CIC) exposed the unprofessional way in which the police deal with counsellors.

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The CICs, set up by the Delhi government, provides counselling and legal assistance to rape victims.

In a recent review meeting, counsellors pointed out a number of shortcomings that affects the functioning of such centres.

"They said the police personnel must send proper vehicles for counsellors empanelled with the Delhi Police. A number of counsellors said police send private vehicles without women constables. Sometimes, the policemen come on two-wheelers to pick up the counsellor," said a senior Delhi government official.

Minister for women and child development Kiran Walia has shot off a letter to the Delhi Police commissioner along with the audit report, asking him to provide proper assistance to CIC members.

The review also emphasised the need for training and sensitising investigating officers in cases of sexual assault.

"It was mentioned on several occasions that the police did not inform the counsellors about the date of hearing in the court.  The counsellors play a crucial role in this regard and help in following the cases properly," said Walia.

"We are also planning to provide mobile vans to the counsellors, which can be utilised by them for attending to the victims," said Walia.

It has also been decided that spaces in two homes for pregnant woman at Sarai Rohilla and Jahangir Puri would be provided for sexual assault victims for immediate shelter in addition to the existing facilities.

The minister has also asked the health department to provide one room, in every hospital, which can be used by the victims while they wait to get their medical examination done.


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