Hold police accountable for rapes: Activists

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Women activists Saturday said the Justice Usha Mehra committee report on the Delhi gang-rape has proved that there was need to act against policemen accountable for such crimes.

"I think it (the report) only brings out what we have been saying that police should be held accountable," Sudha Sundararaman, general secretary of the All India Democratic Women's Association, told IANS.

"Action should be taken against those who fail to act," she said.

Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research, said: "It is actually a mixed report. It suggests that police should be held accountable while at the same time praises the response of the PCR (police control room) team."

Communist Party of India leader Annie Raja said the report by the former judge of the Delhi High Court exposed the callousness of Delhi Police.

"For years we have been demanding police reforms. This again points to the seriousness of the demand," she said.

"It (the crime) is nothing but the failure of the union home ministry," she said.

The Justice Mehra committee, set up to review responses to the Dec 16, 2012 Delhi gang-rape and suggest measures to improve safety and security of women in the city, submitted Friday its report to Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar and Home Secretary R.K. Singh.

The report recommended that a counsellor, a qualified nurse to collect evidence, a woman police inspector and a forensic expert should be present under a single roof where rape victims could be taken.

It also suggested that the police should be sensitised on such crimes.

The commission was set up Dec 26, 2012 to enquire into various aspects of the shocking incident, identify the lapses, if any, on the part of police or any other authority.

A 23-year-old physiotherapist trainee was gang-raped in a moving bus by six men, who later dumped her on the street bloodied and without clothes Dec 16, 2012. Her male friend was also beaten and thrown off the bus. The woman died 13 days later in a Singapore hospital.

--Indo-Asian New Service

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