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Delhi Police chief calls gang-rape incident 'a turning point in legal history'

Friday, 18 January 2013 - 3:13pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dnaAgencies
In an address to the media in New Delhi, police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said the incident has not only been a turning point in the police force, but also in the criminal justice system of India.

Terming the death of the paramedical student, who died of injuries sustained while fighting off her rapists attackers as the "turning point", Delhi Police Chief Neeraj Kumar on Friday elaborated steps initiated by the force to ensure safety of women in the national capital.

"We can recall the infamous Ranga-Billa murder case in 1980s, the Dhaulakuan rape case, and the recent Delhi gang-rape case, which all have the propulsion to effect a change in the way we look at women and crimes against them," Kumar said.

Quoting from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar to point the changing attitude about women, Kumar said: "There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries."

Among the measures, the Delhi Police has made its helpline functional 24x7, which earlier used to operate till 8 PM, and assured that "jurisdiction" issue will not be a hindrance whenever prompt response is required from the force.

"Every woman police desk is being provided with an exclusive telephone line. Most of the police stations have already been provided with this facility, some are left but within a week all the women helpdesk would get their dedicated phones," Kumar said, while addressing the annual press conference by the Delhi Police chief.

He said if a women complainant approaches a police station, jurisdiction would never be an issue as "the complainant has to be dealt with there." "In fact, I have gone a step further and said that not only women complainant but any complaint pertaining to crime if it requires prompt response, must be responded to immediately without the issue of jurisdiction, which can be decided later," he said.

"We have a system of Zero FIR, but our idea is action," referring to the practice of registering FIR and forwarding it to concerned police station.

The top Delhi police official said there was 1.75% increase in crimes in 2012. There were 54,287 cases in 2012 as compared to 53,353 in 2011. There were 706 cases of rape, 543 of murder (521 in 2011) vehicle theft 14,391 (14,668 in 2011) and snatching 1,440 (1476 in 2011), he said.

On the issue of women being discouraged by police from registering complaints by tutoring them it would bring bad name to their families, the Delhi Police chief said the instructions were "loud and clear."

"You have to record her statement verbatim and give her a copy. If it makes out a visible case straight away, register a case and if it pertains to your jurisdiction, start the investigations or if its from other jurisdiction you make out a zero FIR and send it to that police station," Kumar said.

To strengthen its patrolling force, the Delhi police has asked for 370 Police Control Room vans "which government has accepted and with this our total PCR vans would increase to 1,000 so that our response is better.

"Also our proposal to recruitment of 418 women sub-inspectors and 2,088 constable has been approved by Ministry of Home Affairs and has gone to Ministry of Finance."

He said that the Additional and Assistant Commissioners of Police have been instructed to be on patrolling till midnight in their jurisdiction to curb eve-teasing, drunken driving and other crimes.

"We have introduced integrated pickets with personnels from traffic, local police and PCR vans. We have identified 255 routes which are often taken by the family and the women returning from work or entertainment hub. We have redeployed our assets like motorcycle patrol and PCR vans to intensify the patrolling," Kumar said.

 

Here are some of the key points he made:

  • All officer attending the helplines will be required to act on any complaint coming in.
  • All police stations jurisdictions are to act on receiving any complaints coming in from their area.
  • Also, the identity of the complainants will be kept secret as it often invites further harassment.
  • All district additional officers are to be out till night to contain crimes.
  • Local police and PCR vans should cover all women colleges and girls' schools, especially when these institutions are closing....
  • You already know that a fast-track court is handling the Delhi gang-rape incident and a judgement is expected soon.



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