City in festive mood but are women safe?

In the backdrop of gangrape in Delhi, city police stations have been directed to take up women's complaints involving threats and harassment on priority and look into them carefully. The directions were issued by the police commissionerate which has stepped forward to ensure better communication with citizens and encourage proactive policing "to help reduce" crime against women.

Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol was more forthright when he told Newsline, "We believe that better communication with all sections of society from our side is a key step to reduce crime against women. Through our social security cell and the women's grievance redressal cell, we have been tracking these offences against women. In the backdrop of the gangrape incident in Delhi, we have given specific instructions to individual police stations to look into complaints of threat by women carefully and seriously. And that if needed preventive action should be initiated against the person who is troubling the woman."

A senior police officer said, "The incident in Delhi was really shocking and we must learns lessons from it. Women vigilance committees at individual police stations have been asked to increase communication in their areas."

Pol said, "Through vigilance committees, we are telling women, especially girls from schools and colleges, to report cases of eve-teasing without hesitation. They have also been advised to carry chilly powder and pepper sprays. We are also thinking of arranging self defence training programmes through these committees."

He said individual police stations have been asked to continuously communicate with the rectors of the college hostels and private hostels and give them instructions on keeping watch on the suspicious movements. "We have also asked police stations to keep in touch with doctors and local corporators in individual areas as these people many times come to know of cases that are not reported to police stations."

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