Andhra gets Disha police station to fight crimes against women and children | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Andhra gets Disha police station to fight crimes against women and children

Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | By
Feb 08, 2020 05:05 PM IST

The special police staition has been set up under the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (also known as Disha Act) under which, entire investigation has to be completed within 7 days and trial within 14 days.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday inaugurated the first ‘Disha Police Station’ in Rajamahendravaram city in East Godavari district to exclusively deal with crime against women and children.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at the inauguration of the first Disha Police Station in the state which will handles crime against women and children.(HT Photo)
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at the inauguration of the first Disha Police Station in the state which will handles crime against women and children.(HT Photo)

“Disha” is a symbolic name given to the 26-year-old veterinarian who was raped and murdered on the outskirts of Hyderabad on the night of November 27. The special police station has been established as part of the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (also known as Disha Act), passed by state assembly on December 13. The draft legislation is awaiting Presidential assent.

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“It is a historic day. Eighteen such Disha police stations will be set up in the entire state, besides an exclusive court in each district to try cases relating to crimes against women and children. Special Public Prosecutors will also be appointed for these courts to ensure better conviction, which also enables to strengthen the current system by four times,” Jagan said.

He said the rape and murder of the veterinarian in Hyderabad in Tenalgana had shown that a woman or a girl child cannot travel safely on the streets in the night. “We have seen Nirbhaya Act which was brought about as a consequence of a heinous crime against a woman. However, the perpetrators of the crime have not been punished even after seven years of trial,” he regretted.

“That is why we enacted the Disha Act where entire investigation has to be completed within 7 days and trial within 14 days in cases where substantial conclusive evidence is available,” the chief minister said.

As per Section 354 F of the Act, punishment in cases of sexual assault on children will be ranging from 10 to 14 years of imprisonment. Death penalty has been prescribed as a punishment in cases of all heinous offences of rape where adequate conclusive evidence is there.

Jagan said each Disha police station headed by a deputy superintendent of police rank official, would be equipped with facilities for women and children like creche, waiting halls, counselling rooms, baby care rooms etc. An exclusive control room to handle calls from women in distress would be set up in these police stations, which will also be able to track the nearest emergency response vehicle and automatically dispatch it to the location of the victim and act quickly.

He said in addition to existing forensic labs at Visakhapatnam and Tirupati, some more Disha Forensic Science Labs would be set up with most advanced DNA equipment, Serology/Biology Equipment and cyber forensic tools.

Moreover, 13 one-stop centres are operational in the State for providing integrated set of services to victims and survivors of sexual violence. “These centres will act as the first point of contact to victims for assisting in medical examination, facilitation in recording of statement and FIR, legal aid, social- psychological counselling and victim compensation,” he said.

Jagan also launched a mobile application Disha App, through which one can just alert by just shaking their phone when in distress and unable to operate the phone, SOS will be sent to the Disha Control Room as well as their family members. Location of the caller as well as audio and video of 10 seconds during the call will also be sent to the Disha Control Room to assess the situation for appropriate response.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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