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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Where women fear to tread

Jatin Anand, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 27, 2013
First Published: 23:20 IST(27/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:55 IST(28/4/2013)

Home to several populous slums, the Delhi Police’s southeast district, their own statistics indicate, has gradually become one of the worst places for women and the girl child.

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The horrendous physical and sexual exploitation of a six-year-old in a public toilet in Badarpur is one of the many similarly gruesome acts in which women of all ages have been victimised.

This state of affairs exists despite a slew of aggressively advertised public-police partnership measures aimed at weaning young slum dwellers away from potential lives of crime and making the district at least seem safer to women and children.

“As many as 104 children were reported missing from various areas in the district till April 27. When it comes to cases of crime against women, the highest number of rape cases in the Capital throughout 2012 were reported from the Govindpuri area,” admitted a senior police officer.

The Govindpuri police station, in fact, happened to report as many as four instances of crime against women between February 14 and 17 this year with minors having been victimised in three of the four instances.

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Three southeast district police stations figured in the list of an infamous ‘top ten’ classification of ‘thanas’ that reported most instances of rape in 2012. More worrisome is the fact that five of its police stations figured in a similar list of eight ‘thanas’ which reported most incidents of molestation.

On their part, the police have unsuccessfully tried their hands at keeping local criminals at bay and attempted to provide youngsters a ‘platform to expend their energy in a productive manner’ through schemes such as YUVA, PEHCHAAN and various other community outreach programmes with the help of NGOs.

YUVA, for instance, saw 99 sports matches being organised and PEHCHAAN entailed creating a picture database of more than 14,117 slum children across the southeast range which includes the southeast, east and northeast districts of the Delhi Police.

“We are trying our best to instil a sense of social inclusion in residents of slum clusters and especially their children,” said a senior police officer.

“However, we can only provide a platform and not force people to undergo psychological and sociological transformation through our programm


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