Pushing 33 per cent quota for women in police force: Sheila

says 'unbridled influx' of migrants into Delhi a major challenge, blames rising population for putting infrastructure under strain

Saying there was a "dire need" to assure women of their safety and security, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday said her government was pushing for 33 per cent reservation for women in the police force.

In her address to the meeting of the National Development Council (NDC), Dikshit elaborated on the steps taken to make the Capital safer for women following the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman on December 16. She also referred to problems her government faced since Delhi has still not been given full statehood and control over land and police.

"I join Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in condemning all incidents of violence and sexual assault against women and there is a dire need to assure them of their safety and security," Dikshit said. She added it was shameful that such incidents were still taking place in the city and other parts of the country.

"While a dedicated round-the-clock women-in-distress line will be functional in my office soon, we have requested police to deploy more PCR vans, publicise police protocols and impart training to police in dealing with the public," Dikshit said.

The government, she said, had launched a consistent social campaign in an effort to reach out to men, women and society through radio, advertisements and NGOs. "The government has released more funds to ensure better reach of programmes of Delhi Commission for Women. The DCW will organise a Women Dignity March from Pragati Maidan to Rajghat on January 2," she said.

Identifying "unbridled influx" of migrants into Delhi as a major challenge, Dikshit blamed the burgeoning population for putting the existing infrastructure under strain and sought help from the Centre to deal with the situation. She said the capital was grappling with "unparalleled and unprecedented" challenges.

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