Sheila Dikshit seeks draft law to turn Delhi gangrape outrage into action

Protest

Asks ASG to draft Bill for stricter laws, sets up 24x7 cell in her own office

Saying "it is time to turn outrage into action", Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday said she had asked Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising to prepare a draft Bill making laws against sexual harassment and assault more stringent.

"This will act as a deterrent and will go a long way in containing such incidents. "All stakeholders will be consulted before finalising the draft law," Dikshit said.

She made the announcement as protests swept the city against the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus. Thrown out of the bus with her badly beaten friend, the woman is battling for life at Safdarjung Hospital.

The Chief Minister announced the setting up of a control room for women in distress in her office in the Delhi secretariat. The exclusive control room will be commissioned by December 31, officials said.

"It is time to turn outrage into action. So, we have taken several decisions to safeguard the dignity of women and ensure a more responsible and serious police force," Dikshit said.

She said that the control room with a dedicated number for women in distress would be made functional in her office and would be available 24 hours a day. "We have also decided that the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) will be the nodal agency in charge of launching a forceful campaign on the safety of women," she said.

"The DCW will take all necessary steps to spread awareness among all sections of society. This drive will include citizen groups, government resource centres, residents' welfare associations, corporate houses, the district administration and mahila panchayats," Dikshit said.

The decisions follow a meeting between the government, police, university representatives, lawyers and NGOs on Wednesday to discuss the safety of women following the gangrape.

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