Of the total calls received on Delhi government’s women’s helpline 181, almost 53% are complaints of stalking. The Delhi government has now asked the police to maintain a register of calls as well as action initiated on them.
The reason behind this move is alleged police inaction. A review of the helpline will be carried out every month. The government will also take note of the areas that record the highest number of complaints each month.
All this was decided at a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday. Officials of the Delhi government and the Delhi Police were present in the meeting.
It was decided that the police’s anti-stalking helpline 1096 would be integrated with PCR number 100 for better and prompt action. Due to the quantum of complaints on 181, the number of lines had to be increased from two to 10.
In the past fortnight, it has received nearly 20,000 complaints. But officials have pointed out that when they call the police to forward the grievances, the junior staff are often reluctant to file police complaints.
In many cases, they want the complainant to visit the police station.
“An internal direction will be given to the head constables or those who take these calls,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Apart from the police, the health department, hospitals and the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) have been asked to maintain a separate register on action taken on the calls forwarded to them. Officials pointed out that in a number of cases, the police were able to arrest a few people who had abused a woman, forcing her to call on the helpline.
“The helpline has proved very useful for women who do not know where to file their complaints,” said Kiran Walia, women and child development minister.