The city’s police force is pulling up its socks and devising a series of strategies to curb sexual harassment on the streets. The announcement was made by Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh at a forum organised by the Mumbai Police at a suburban auditorium, graced by several Bollywood celebrities. Singh said that a special women’s wing of the Mumbai Police would be launched later this month, dedicated to fighting crimes against women.
“The existing helpline 103 for women in distress will now be enhanced in such a way that a distress call is attended personally by the police, who will reach the scene of crime within seven minutes and ensure that the victim is escorted to a safe destination” he claimed. Home Minister R R Patil, while promising that he would support the police with infrastructure for the quick response system, categorically stated that police stations would now have to be sensitised about crimes like molestation and rape.
“If it is brought to our notice that an officer taking the complaint is asking unnecessary questions which humiliate or intimidate the victim, we will ensure that he is suspended. We are also propagating the mobile application called ICE, abbreviation for ‘in case of emergency’, which will allow a person in distress to not only send out immediate text alerts to specified contacts while displaying their location, but will also emit a loud alarm from the victim’s mobile,” said Patil.
Additional CP Vishwas Nangre Patil chipped in with his plan, which uses women as decoys, who accompany plain-clothes policemen on the streets. “We have already implemented the decoy plan and made nearly 250 arrests. The quick response challenge has come from the Home Ministry, and we are gearing up to it, initially as a pilot project in the western region. Our aim of organising the forum was to instil confidence in the minds of the youth that police is easily approachable,” he said.
Several celebrities graced the occasion. Here’s what they had to say:
Don’t scream, but slap when in distress, just the way I do. A kick between the legs of the attacker is the best defence for a woman to use.
Rani Mukerjee, actor
Mumbai will be safe only when women feel secure to step out anytime, anywhere, wearing whatever they feel like.
Shabana Azmi, actor, activist and MP
Women in Mumbai feel more secure than women in many parts of India, and we should be thankful for that.
Karishma Kapoor, actor
The merits of the society ought to be judged by the way its women are treated.
Alyque Padamsee, theatre personality
First treat the girl child right within the family, before pointing fingers at others.
Javed Akhtar, lyricist and scriptwriter