World | India

30 days that bound a nation — in shame and concern

A month after a woman's gang-rape in Delhi, the spotlight stays resolutely on women's safety

  • IANS
  • Published: 16:35 January 15, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • Demonstrators react as police unleash water cannon during a protest calling for better safety for women following the rape of a student last week, in front of the Government Secretariat and Presidential Palace in New Delhi on December 22, 2012.

New Delhi: She was the faceless woman who bound a nation in concern and shame and made India a talking point across the world.

A month after a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang-raped in Delhi and 18 days after she died of her injuries, the spotlight stays resolutely on India’s women and their status.

One of the suspects was to appear on Tuesday at a hearing intended to determine whether he is a juvenile and therefore ineligible for the death penalty, according to defence lawyers in the case

The suspect, who is not being identified because he says he is 17, could face three years in a reform facility if convicted as a juvenile. A conviction as an adult could bring the death penalty. The hearing is expected to begin on Tuesday afternoon, defence lawyers said.

Meanwhile, perhaps for the first time, countering crimes against women has become a top priority for Delhi Police — not particularly known for gender sensitivity — after the sustained mass outrage over the gang-rape and death brought women’s insecurity in the national capital into sharp public focus.

Since the incident, all the 180 police stations here have been told to run a women’s help desk 24x7 with at least two women police personnel in attendance. All police personnel are to inform senior officers immediately about any major distress call related to women.

“Earlier, women officers were seen only during the day. Now, every police station has been instructed to run a women’s help desk 24x7. Police stations have been instructed to put at least two women officers at the desk at night,” Special Commissioner of Police Sudhir Yadav said.

All the 11 police districts in New Delhi have been asked to be on high alert regarding women’s safety and the officers have been ordered to handle women-related distress calls on priority.

Police attending the calls at 100 — Police Control Room (PCR) and at 1091 (a special desk to attend women-related calls) — have been instructed to take immediate action when they get a distress call from a woman.

Yadav said he has been appointed as the nodal officer to keep a watch on women’s distress calls.

“I have received around 1,300 distress calls by women on my official number. Around 80 per cent calls were related to small issues while 20 per cent were major. Immediate action was taken. Some of them have been solved while a few are being handled by police stations,” said Yadav.

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dharmendra Kumar said that those attending to distress calls from women have been instructed to divert such calls immediately to the nearest PCR van of the area from where the call was made.

“As soon as a woman’s distress call is received, it is transferred to the PCR van nearest to the victim’s address. The area police station and top officers are informed,” Additional Commissioner of Police A.K. Ojha told IANS.

Ojha said this was the normal process to handle distress calls, but since the gang-rape incident, all major women-related calls are being transferred to the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) or additional commissioner of police’s offices.

Five men and a juvenile gang-raped and tortured the woman in a moving bus December 16 in south Delhi. She died on December 29 in a Singapore hospital where she had been airlifted for specialised treatment.

After the outrage, five policemen, including two senior officers, were suspended for dereliction of duty.

To prevent the recurrence of such incidents, police said patrolling on motorcycles had been started and PCR patrols increased. Night patrolling by station house officers (SHOs), assistant commissioners of police and DCPs and an increase of around 70 per cent police presence on the roads has also been effected.

Since women feel unsafe travelling in public buses, the Delhi government has decided to post Home Guards in all buses at night. Until now, only 89 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses that ply during night have home guards.

Marketing executive Geetika Chowdhary however said: “It is not enough to increase police presence on roads. Police personnel have to be more sensitive to women’s issues. They have to instil confidence among women so that they can approach them without fear and that their case will get priority.”

Comments (13)

  1. Added 17:27 January 16, 2013

    I agree with some others as to why we as Indians should be ashamed for a handful of perverted people. These types of people exists in each and every parts of the world and more heinous crimes than just rape are committed by such people all across the globe. Just like for any other crimes you cannot blame the whole religion, same goes for rape and murder. A criminal is a criminal, you cannot connect the same to any religion, society, community or a country. Of course, it is the duty of police department and law enforcers of every country to try their best to maintain all crimes at minimum level.

    Rizwan Kazi, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:54 January 16, 2013

    India is the safest place in the world. The number of rapes as per UN documentation 1.7 rape cases per 100,000 people, the developed world are the top in the ranks. Sweden - 67 rapes per 100,000, US and UK are 50 and 27 cases. So, India is much safe place in the world for women. It's just media publicity.

    Manoj, fujairah, India

  3. Added 14:05 January 16, 2013

    One thing is surely proved that “No Woman in India is safe”. India got independence but not Indian Woman… Big Shame on Indian Govt. Capital punishment is the correct punishment to these people…

    Ayesha Ali, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 13:55 January 16, 2013

    I am from Pakistan and I insist that instead of our governments fighting with each other on the cost of wealth and time, both countries should fight and exhert their efforts on the betterment of their own people who face severe social, economic, religious, humanitarian injustices and terrorism by their own people from within. The judicial status of these two countries is disgraceful, shameful and loathesome. It's beyond words. Actions are better than words.

    fans, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 13:52 January 16, 2013

    Compared to the huge population of India, the number of rapes is much lower than many other countries on earth. So, why only Indians should feel shame? It is a global issue and all nations should implement capital punishment and other legal systems to stop this crime.

    Saqeer SV, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:22 January 16, 2013

    One thing is surely proved that “No Woman in India is safe”. India has independence, but not the women in India. Big shame on Indian government. Capital punishment is the correct punishment for this people.

    Ayesha Ali, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 12:48 January 16, 2013

    It's a true democratic country. The media is just jumping up and down. Thirty days or sixty, justice should be well defined and proper investigation should be completed. So, to the media and people don't jump too much.

    Manoj, Fujairah, India

  8. Added 12:24 January 16, 2013

    Shame on Indian judiciary system. Why does it takes so long to provide justice? I agree that justice delayed is justice denied. The culprits commmitted this crime without a second thought. The government needs to deal very strictly with these rapists without delay. Any one who thinks of rape should remind themselves of the punishment they will face if they commit the crime.

    pasha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 11:57 January 16, 2013

    The heading is atrocious “30 days that bound a nation — in shame and concern”. Criminals, terrorists & cheap lawyers & politicians do not constitute India. Why should the nation be shamed for the atrocities done by some barbarians well supported by third rate lawyers and a naïve ruling government?

    mahesh, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:58 January 16, 2013

    It is really sad that the girl still hasn't gotten justice. Justice delayed is justice denied. Please Indian government, your image in the world is getting worse. There was another case of a 7 year old girl too. Please provide justice. I thought Indian judiciary system is strong but now it seems it's playing games with innocent people only.

    Asif, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan

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