BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Harshvardhan today demanded December 16 to be made an annual pledge day against violence towards women in memory of the paramedical student who was gang-raped on this day a year ago.
Vardhan also said that if the BJP had been able to form a government through the just-concluded elections, he as CM would have made public its first resolution for guaranteeing safety of women in Delhi's public space. December 16 should be recalled in perpetuity by governments and people for the need to protect women and girls from sex criminals. "It will be a day to reiterate our nation's resolve to protect women who are victims of abuse and rape," he said.
Vardhan said that since Delhi has no elected government at this point of time, the central government which would administer through the Lieutenant-Governor, should ensure that the "rape capital" stigma is removed. "The Sheila Dikshit government which ruled Delhi for 15 years failed miserably in the crucial area of ensuring women's safety and so rape and molestation became a part of everyday life," he said.
Attacking Dikshit's regime, Vardhan said that the Delhi government had made many announcements after the tragedy but most remained unfulfilled even after passing of an year.
Listing some of the unfulfilled promises, he said, "Home guards to be posted in all buses operating under public transport, all public transport buses to have sufficient lighting in them, all crossing to be monitored by CCTV, all vulnerable traffic points to have police barricading, all the dark spots of Delhi would be marked and illuminated by sodium lights."
He also listed some steps for immediate adoption, "Deployment of home guards for beat duty 24X7 in all colonies and slum areas. There are more than 60,000 home guards under the state government who are sitting idle." Films should be produced by government for screening in schools and colleges to promote healthy sexual attitudes and promote awareness of gender rights among both boys and girls, he said. "Government hospitals should keep one ward exclusively for victims of rape and molestation so that their medico-legal examination could be done in total privacy," he said.
Vardhan said that a special imprest fund should be created for all hospital superintendents for treatment (including post-operation and psychological rehabilitation) of rape victims and for bearing of expenses of transportation and overnight stay of their families.
Laying special emphasis on checking crime against children, Vardhan said, "Cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO) should be put on fast track in courts. Only one recording of statement should be done of child rape/molestation victims and these should be video-graphed."
He also said that lady personnel of Delhi Police should be trained and re-trained in all legal aspects. "Vacancies in posts of lady IOs in Delhi Police must be filled immediately. Special hostel for giving protection to women victims of domestic abuse must be opened immediately," he said.
Vardhan said that the Labour Ministry should ensure all offices in Delhi in both government and private sector have anti-sexual harassment committees mandatory under Vishakha order.
In order to check pornography, he said special drives should be conducted against its peddlers in Delhi's markets. "All dark spots in the capital should be detected immediately and brightly illuminated as early as possible. Guards should be deployed in buses after late evening hours," he said.