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Ensure safety of women, PM tells DGPs

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Ensure safety of women, PM tells DGPs
Ensure safety of women, PM tells DGPs

Against the backdrop of rape and other crimes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday favoured putting in place institutional mechanisms to ensure safety and security of women and children.

Addressing a conference of top police brass of the country, Dr. Singh said the tragic rape and murder of a young girl in Delhi last December not only brought into sharp focus the issue of women’s safety but also the rising expectations of the people from the police in preventing such crimes.

“We have recently enacted several laws providing stringent punishment for such crimes and more sensitive treatment of victims during investigation and trial.

“We also need to put in place other institutional mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of women and children. I expect the DGPs of states to show leadership in this area,” he said.

The Prime Minister, however, did not elaborate what the institutional mechanism would be.

The comments come in the midst of the raging controversy over the alleged sexual assault on a woman colleague by Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal.

After the December 16 incident, the government had amended various provisions of law and strengthened those related to crime against women and children.

‘Terror threat to disrupt Lok Sabha, Assembly polls’

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday warned that terrorist groups may try to disrupt the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls and asked security forces to remain alert.

Voicing concern over a “substantial increase” in the number of communal incidents in some states, he said they must be tackled with utmost firmness, without prejudice, fear or favour.

“There is a likelihood of attempts (by terror groups) to disrupt the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The security forces need to be careful,” the Prime Minister said while addressing a conference of country’s top police brass here.

Referring to the recent communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts in Uttar Pradesh which claimed many lives and displaced thousands, Dr. Singh said law and order agencies must ensure that trivial or local issues are not exploited by vested interests to inflame communal passions.

“During the current year some states have witnessed a substantial increase in the number of communal incidents. We cannot afford such a state of affairs…. Once disturbances occur they must be tackled with utmost firmness, without prejudice, fear or favour,” he told the conference of Directors General Police and Inspectors General of Police.

The Prime Minister said state DGPs have the responsibility to ensure that their police force acts in the required manner in preventing communal actions.

Expressing concern over misuse of social media for fanning tension in the society, Dr. Singh said the country has witnessed misuse of social media and SMSes during the recent disturbances in Muzaffarnagar and also last year.

“There is a need to find creative solutions which do not curb the freedom of expression and the ease of communication that social media provides,” he said.

Lauds IB

The Prime Minister said resurgence of terrorist groups, particularly Lashkar-e-Taiba and increased infiltration attempts call for heightened vigil and coordination.

Congratulating the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which organised the conference, Dr. Singh said it was the intelligence gathered by the IB that led to the arrest of some suspects of several terror attacks.

Referring to the Maoist problem, the Prime Minister said it was important that the security forces do not let up on their efforts to root out the menace of naxalism and continue to build on the successes.

“Our intelligence, police, para-military forces have done commendable work during polls in the naxal affected areas of Chhatisgarh,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said there was a need to improve the quality of governance and the pace of development in the naxal affected areas.

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