After Sakinaka rape and murder, Thackeray holds urgent meet; Sena says Mumbai is safest
Under fire from the Opposition and various other fronts after the rape and murder of a 32-year-old woman in Sakinaka, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held an urgent meeting of senior officials from the Maharashtra police force and home department at the office of the director general of police in south Mumbai.
Thackeray, in slew of directives to the police force, has called for keeping records of people coming from other states, revision in style of working of fast-track courts for speedy implementation of punishment and registering every complaint raised by women.
The CM chaired the meeting of the key police officers from the force, including police commissioners of all cities and district heads. It was attended by home minister Dilip Walse Patil, chief secretary Sitaram Kunte and additional chief secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava, among others.
Thackeray also batted for night shelters for homeless women living on pavements and at railway or bus stations with the help of Central government. He said the state government will raise the need of redesigning the working style of the judicial system to ensure speedy enforcement of conviction orders given by fast-track courts, during a meeting with NITI Aayog officials on Tuesday.
The government has also announced that the Shakti Act, modelled on Andhra Pradesh’s Disha Act, for stricter punishment for crimes against women and children, will be reintroduced in the legislature in the forthcoming winter session. The bill, introduced in the legislature in December 2020, has been sent to the joint select committee for further deliberation.
Home minister Walse Patil said the report of the committee will be tabled. “We will also deploy senior police officers for follow-up of cases pending in the fast-track court for speedy disposal. Police force should be more vigilant and alert to keep up its formidable reputation,” he said. The minister has also directed the police to register each and every case of women visiting police stations and giving priority to the investigation in these cases. He has also directed the police to file charge sheets at the earliest in the heinous crimes against women and monitor them rigorously for early disposal.
Without naming anybody, the CM said everyone should be careful while giving reactions in such cases and introspect about outcome of such reactions.
Earlier in the day, the CM met vice-chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Arun Haldar, and apprised him of the steps taken by the state government after the incident. The CM told the VC of the commission that the state has taken up the responsibility of the education and upbringing of the children of the victim. He said that the family if the victim will be compensated from Manodhairya and atrocities compensation scheme. “After Thackeray directed to appoint a special public prosecutor, leading counsel Raja Thackeray has been appointed to represent the victim,” the statement reads.
Mumbai police officers said that 7,000 more CCTVs are being added to the existing network of 5,000 cameras in the city.
A delegation of women of Bharatiya Janata Party under the leadership of party’s Mumbai chief Mangalprabhat Lodha met governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday morning and demanded quick steps to reduce the cases of crime against women. The delegation in its memorandum has stated that the crime cases against women are on the rise and it has resulted in the uncertainty among women. The delegation has demanded for the immediate enactment of the Shakti act proposed by the state government for stricter punishment to the perpetrators in cases against women. The delegation comprised former minister Vidya Thakur, MLAs Manisha Chaudhari, Bharti Lavekar, party leaders Shalaka Salvi, Sheetal Gambhir, Shweta Parulkar has also demanded for strengthening of the CCTV network in Mumbai.
Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana on Monday hit out at the BJP saying the Mumbai case was not Hathras where the Uttar Pradesh government did not accept that it was a rape. The Marathi daily also said that Mumbai is the “safest city” in the world for women. Amid outrage against the brutal crime that bore similarity to the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, the Sena mouthpiece said that Mumbai is the safest city. “The rape and murder of the woman in Sakinaka has shocked one and all. But, Mumbai is the safest city in the world for women and there should be no doubt about it in anyone’s mind,” the editorial said.
BJP leaders, following the incident on Friday, slammed the Uddhav Thackeray-led government saying it is not focusing on law and order and on women safety. The mouthpiece also defended Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale, who had said that police cannot be at all the crime scenes.