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Assam launches toll-free helpline number in Guwahati for women in distress

The toll free helpline will initially work from 9am to 5.30pm, but will soon be a 24x7 service. The initiative is part of a scheme to provide 24 hours response to women affected by violence.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2018 13:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Assam chief minister,Sarbananda Sonowal,Crime against women
The steps come on the heels of the recent brutal rape and murder of a class five student in Nagaon.(Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo)

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched a toll-free helpline number 189 for women in distress in Guwahati on Thursday, amid a spurt in crimes against women in the state.

The toll free helpline will initially work from 9am to 5.30pm, but will soon be a 24x7 service.

“Superintendents of police of all the districts have been asked to ensure swift and correct filing of chargesheet in all crimes against women so that justice can be given to the victims,” Sonowal said at the inauguration of the helpline, urging women to use it.

The helpline is part of a scheme under the Union ministry of women and child development to provide 24 hours response to women affected by violence.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the Gauhati high court ordered that a fast track court be set up in each district to deal with cases of rape and murder of women and children.

The order came over a request from Sonowal. “The chief minister also wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of Gauhati high court and requested for setting up a fast-track court to take up all cases of crimes against women on an urgent basis for strict action against perpetrators of such crimes,” Sonowal said on twitter on March 26.

Sonowal had also ordered a new women cell at the director general of police’s office in Guwahati to ensure swift action in cases of violence against women.

The steps come on the heels of the recent brutal rape and murder of a class five student in Nagaon. The incident sparked protests across the state.

The 12-year-old was raped by three men including two minors at her house in a village in Nagaon district. After raping her, the accused poured kerosene and set her ablaze. She died on her way to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 13:26 IST