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Karnataka sets up dedicated women's helpline

Thursday, 3 January 2013 - 3:16pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: PTI

Women in distress and those facing threat of attack including molestation could call on phone number 1091.

Stepping up measures for women's safety against the backdrop of growing demand for such action, the Karnataka government on Thursday set up a dedicated helpline.

Women in distress and those facing threat of attack including molestation could call on phone number 1091.

The helpline in Bangalore would work 24x7, state Home Minister R Ashok in Bangalore.

The government initiative comes against the backdrop of the national outrage over the gang-rape of a paramedical student in Delhi and several incidents of rapes in the state in the past fortnight.

Voicing concern over rape incidents, state Energy Minister Shoba Karandlaje on Wednesday urged the BJP government in the state to amend laws to provide for stringent punishment, including surgical castration, to perpetrators of crime against women.

State Home Minister Ashok said the new helpline to be operated in the city will soon be extended to the entire state.

“Till such time people particularly women could call at 100 to report crimes against women,” he said.

He also said the police have issued an “advisory” to all the BPO firms and IT firms employing women staff to inform the government about the steps they have initiated for security of women in their establishments.

He said all BPO, MNCs and IT companies have been directed to maintain a record of details about drivers and installation of GPS system in all vehicles is mandatory.

The government has also made it compulsory for those running Paying Guest units and hostels for women to register with the police.

The police have stepped up vigil across all women colleges to check eve-teasing cases and patrolling in vast vacant lands owned by Universities and defence establishments, he said, adding CCTV cameras would also be installed in these places, besides public places.

The minister said all private schools have been directed to furnish details of drivers hired by them to the police against the backdrop of allegation of sexual harassment of girl children by vehicle crew.
Commenting on the cases booked against traffic violators, Ashok said that in the last year, 50 lakh cases were registered and Rs52 crore fine collected in the city.

Ashok sought to side step queries on Karandlaje's letter seeking surgical castration for rapists and also blaming police laxity in dealing with rape cases.

“We have taken the advice of several women and women organisations in issuing fresh guidelines for women's safety,” he said.

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