Worried about the rising incidents of crime against women, the state will launch a helpline for women in Mumbai on Tuesday. The 24-hour helpline has two mobile numbers — 7738133133 or 7738144144 — that women can call if they face any kind of harassment. This is apart from 103, the existing police helpline for women.
The state will also depute women constable squads in plainclothes on railway platforms, outside stations, colleges and schools — spots where the highest number of girls and women are present and consequently harassed.
“We have decided to initiate a campaign to spread the message that eve-teasing is a crime and that it can get a person behind bars,” said Satej Patil, minister of state for home after a meeting with police officers on Monday on tackling eve-teasing.
The 2010 report of the National Crime Records Bureau, released recently, revealed that at 1,180, Maharashtra had the second highest number of FIRs filed for sexual harassment, which includes eve-teasing, in India. Of these, 138 FIRs were filed in Mumbai.
The report also showed that the state had one of the lowest conviction rates in 2010 — 5% — for such cases. “By January, all colleges must have committees to address such cases,” Patil said.