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Accountability of Delhi Police should be fixed: DCW to MHA in Kanjhawala case

According to the letter, Delhi Police should increase accountability and sensitize its officers on issues concerning crimes against women and girls in the Capital.

By Newsd
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The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Tuesday suggested to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) key changes in the national capital’s policing system to ensure women’s safety after the tragic death of a 20-year-old woman, who was hit and dragged along with a car for several kilometres in Kanjhawala area on the new year. “The Ministry of Home Affairs should set up a high-level committee on women’s safety. Accountability of Delhi Police should be fixed,” DCW chief Swati Maliwal said in a letter to the MHA as Delhi Police comes under its jurisdiction.

“66,000 new recruitments should be done in Delhi Police. PCR system should be strengthened. Delhi Police should be Modernized, Sensitized and Incentivized,” read the important suggestions sent to the MHA. “A high-level committee should be set up in the Home Ministry under the chairpersonship of Hon’ble Home Minister, GOI which should include Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi, Home Secretary GOI, Police Commissioner and DOA’ Chairperson. The comments should be mandated to meet once a month and create a coordinated strategy for tackling crimes against women and girls in the Capital,” read the letter.

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According to the letter, Delhi Police should increase accountability and sensitize its officers on issues concerning crimes against women and girls in the Capital. “Urgent steps should be undertaken to increase the accountability of Delhi Police and sensitize its officers on issues concerning crimes against women and girls in the Capital. The Home Ministry must set up an example in the Kanjhawala case by taking action against those police officers who failed in protecting the girl while she was being dragged for 12 kms on the streets of Delhi,” it read.

Increasing the resources of the police shall help reduce the workload and increase the quality of their performance. The Home Ministry should therefore urgently provide Delhi Police with adequate human resources so that it functions more effectively, it said. “The Delhi Police is short of human resources and each police station continues to function at less than half its sanctioned strength. The Delhi Police had demanded 66,000 additional police personnel 20 years back from the Government. The same has not been provided to them to date!,” it said

“In April 2018, after my hunger strike, 3000 additional police forces were sanctioned for Delhi. Clearly, this is not enough. Further, women form a measly 9 per cent of the police force which should also be increased. Presently, due to a shortage of resources, Delhi Police personnel are made to work long hours and handle hundreds of cases. Increasing the resources of the police shall help reduce the workload and increase the quality of their performance. The Home Ministry should therefore urgently provide Delhi Police adequate human resources so that it functions more effectively,” it read. The DCW chief in her letter further alleged that no PCR reached the spot for several hours.

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“Through media reports, it has been learnt that in the Kanjhawala case, eyewitnesses made several calls to the emergency helpline number of Delhi Police, but allegedly no PCR van reached the spot for several hours. This is unacceptable and the PCR unit of Delhi Police should be strengthened so that it is equipped to deal with emergency situations,” read the letter. “The Home Ministry must take steps to modernize Delhi Police and they should be provided state-of-the-art infrastructure to deal with crimes against women and girls in the Capital. Further, all police personnel must undergo regular gender sensitization,” it read further

DCW chief Swati Maliwal in the letter said that the Delhi Commission for Women is of the view that lack of police resources and accountability are the major reasons for the high crime rate against women and girls in the Capital state. “In April 2018, I undertook a hunger strike against the increasing cases of rape of children in the country. After 10 days after my hunger strike, the Union Government accepted my demand and passed an ordinance which provided for speedy trial and capital punishment for rapists of children. However, these changes were not implemented properly, leading me to another hunger strike in December 2019 which lasted for 13 days,” read the letter.

It further read that Delhi continues to face unprecedented crimes against women and girls. The situation is extremely serious and corrective measures need to be undertaken urgently to deal with it. Earlier on Jan 1, DCW had taken a suo moto cognisance of media reports of the death of a woman due to an alleged accident.

“As per media reports, at midnight of New Year, a car allegedly hit the scooty of a woman in the Kanjhawala area of Delhi. Reportedly, the car dragged the woman on the road for around 7-8 kilometres. The dead body of the woman was found on the road without any clothes,” the DCW release further stated. As per the release, DCW had summoned the Delhi Police at 2 pm on January 1, failing which they could face “legal consequences”, it had said.

The DCW had also sought documents from the police including a copy of the FIR, details of the arrested accused, a copy of the post-mortem, and a detailed report of the action taken in the case. In addition to this, DCW has also sought details of the investigation regarding if the victim was sexually assaulted, a list of police checkposts in the route, if any police person stopped the car and checked them for alcohol intake if any call was received on 112 number regarding the incident and the reason why no PCR or police personnel stopped the car.

DCW then had said that it took the matter seriously and wishes to examine the safety measures taken by Delhi Police on New Year’s eve and the circumstances in which the woman was dragged by the car without being noticed by anyone. “Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994 mandates the Commission to investigate and examine all matters relating to safeguard provided for women under the Constitution and give recommendations to the Government on the issue of women’s safety and Section 10 of the Act empowers the Commission to seek any information from any office for the aforesaid purpose and gives it the power of a Civil Court in this regard,” the DCW’s earlier release said.

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