A Parliamentary Standing Committee has termed steps taken by Delhi Police on improving women’s safety as “disheartening” and asked the force to chalk out effective and resilient strategies to combat crime against women instead of “shrugging off” its responsibility.
The report of the 189th Standing Committee on Home Ministry tabled in Parliament on Monday took note of several steps taken by Delhi Police which included no harassment of complainant or victims of sexual assault cases and having a round-the-clock women’s help desk and deploying 10 to 15 personnel in every police station to take care of women-related crimes.
The committee noted that Delhi Police took several steps post December 16, 2012 to curb crime against women, including instilling confidence in girls through various gender sensitisation programmes and propagating the fear of law among sexual offenders.
“However, the incidents of crime against women have a disheartening trend, be it incident of recent murder case of Anand Parvat (a woman was stabbed to death by two youths) or alleged molestation of an American citizen. The Committee, therefore, feels that there is a need for sensitisation programmes on behaviour towards women,” said the Standing Committee, headed by Congress’s Rajya Sabha MP P Bhattacharya.
On a related issue, Delhi Police gave a graphical and statistical representation that majority of rapes amounting to 96.7% were carried out by relatives and acquaintances of the victims and the remaining by strangers.
However, the committee said it is “not convinced” with the plea of Ministry of Home Affairs regarding crime against women that the role of Delhi Police is limited on the pretext that a number of socio-economic factors are responsible for prevalent attitude against women.
The committee also did not concur with the idea of Home Ministry that the responsibility to prevent the crime against women lies with the society as the crime against women are committed by people known to the victims.
“The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that Delhi Police instead of shrugging off its responsibilities towards preventing crimes against women must chalk out effective and resilient strategy to combat crimes against women,” the report concluded.