Odisha to probe rape cases within 60 days

Bhubaneswar, Jan 10 (IANS) Odisha has asked the police to file chargesheets in rape and other sexual offence cases related to women within 60 days of the crimes instead of 120 days stipulated in the law, an official said Thursday.

The government will also set up special fast-track courts for speedy disposal of cases related to violence against women, a state home department official told IANS.

The decision was taken Wednesday in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the state secretariat, he said.

In view of the public outrage over Dec 16 New Delhi gang-rape in which a 23-year-old woman was also brutally assaulted in a moving bus and spurt in similar cases in the state, the government has also announced to take several other measures to prevent crimes against women, he said.

Victims of rape and other sexual violence would be allowed to lodge their complaints at any police station in the state. Such complaints would be immediately forwarded to the concerned police stations.

There is a provision of framing chargesheets within 120 days in the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) but the government directed the police to complete probe into rapes, molestations and other crimes within 60 days.

Each police station will have at least one woman sub-inspector. Besides a separate cadre of public prosecutors will be created to handle cases related to crimes against women, he said.

The government's move comes hours after the opposition BJP demanded imposition of president's rule in the state to prevent rape cases and atrocities on women.

Citing government figures, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit vice president Ashok Sahu said Odisha had registered 1,112 rape cases in 2011, higher than the 1,025 cases reported in 2010. During 2012, rape incidents have reportedly increased to more than 1,300 cases.

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