Rape capital in honour quest

Dear women, don't fear to step out of your homes. We will watch over you.

Shamed by the capital's defaming rape crown twice over, Jharkhand Police are going an extra mile to plug security gaps in schools, colleges, coaching institutes, girls' hostels, nursing homes, offices, auto-rickshaws, buses, trains and every other place where the fair sex may be at risk of harassment.

Speaking to The Telegraph on Friday, DGP G.S. Rath said their prime concern was to ensure an environment where girls could move freely and study and work without fear. "Our women are safer than in many states, but we must make concerted efforts to remove every bit of insecurity that remains. For this, we have chalked out detailed plans. The district police have been advised to execute the preventive mechanism as early as possible," he added.

Rath has directed the CID's nodal cell to monitor crimes against women not only in Ranchi, but every other district. While the capital district topped the 2012 disgrace list with 78 rapes, East Singhbhum ranked third with 56 cases. Santhal Pargana district Sahebganj was second with 65. Bokaro and Dhanbad too are unsafe with 45 and 41 rapes, respectively.

"Cases of crime against women will be given priority and disposed of swiftly in close co-ordination with local police. We are working on a war footing to ensure a completely safe state for women," the DGP said.

For starters, a group of four "responsible" lady officers of Ranchi police will visit educational campuses, hostels and offices to review the study and work ambience for women. She will assess the attitude and mindset of male students and co-workers. Heads of all institutions and offices will also be given questionnaires, seeking details of arrangements for women like drop facility for those who work at night.

"Our female colleagues will also shoulder the responsibility of digging into past sexual harassment cases at workplaces and profiling the accused co-worker for future reference," said IG, CID, Anurag Gupta.

To ensure safety of women passengers on public transport, bus and auto-rickshaw owners will be asked to display the number of the local police station on board. "We have also decided to make a comprehensive list of buses and auto-rickshaws playing legally in the city," Gupta said.

The IG added that proprietors would have to bear the "moral responsibility" of not hiring drivers or conductors who show little respect for women or have criminal antecedents like molestation or rape. Once a complaint is lodged by a woman passenger on board a bus or an auto, action would be prompt, he promised.

It will be safety first at stations too, where video cameras will be installed to monitor the premises and parking lots. The railway police will keep an eye on movement of autos and buses picking up women passengers. "They will also have to maintain records of every vehicle leaving the station so that information against offenders are readily available, if and when required," Gupta said.

Will Jharkhand Police be able to ensure safety of women?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com

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