The crackdown: Pubs and discos to shut at 1 am, cops on board buses

Friday

Will seek quick trial, life imprisonment for men accused of gangrape, says Home Secretary.

Announcing a slew of measures to check crime against women in the Capital, the government on Friday said there will be a blanket ban on sale of liquor at pubs and discotheques after 1 am. The decision to enforce the ban followed a meeting between Union Home Secretary R K Singh and Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the wake of public protests over the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman on board a moving bus last Sunday.

Announcing that "no pubs or discotheques in the Capital will be allowed to sell liquor after 1 am", Singh said the quality of policing will also be improved. He said policemen in plainclothes will travel in public transport buses. Vehicles approaching Delhi from neighbouring states will be thoroughly checked. Tinted films will be removed from all vehicles plying on Delhi roads, even if they are registered elsewhere, he said.

"The people of Delhi will feel more safe, and policing will be up to the mark. No goondagardi (rowdiness), dadagiri (bullying) or misbehaviour with women will be tolerated. Police action will be visible on the ground," he said.

Singh said a chargesheet against those arrested for the gangrape of the woman will be filed soon. "There is sufficient oral and scientific evidence and we will press for expeditious trial. We will also seek maximum punishment, which is life imprisonment, for the accused," he said.

Giving details of the police response last Sunday, Neeraj Kumar said, "As soon as the PCR received the call, no time was lost in narrowing down to the accused persons. The victim's friend, who was injured, helped us in zeroing-in on white buses."

Investigations led police to a manufacturer of bus chassis, based in West Delhi. "We checked 370 buses. (The manufacturer) gave details of the buses he had supplied in the past. Using this lead and CCTV footage near the airport, we narrowed down to the buses that had "Yadav" written on them. The driver of the bus, Ram Singh, was arrested first. He led us to the other suspects," Kumar said.

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