AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Thursday announced the formation of a high-level five-member committee that will oversee investigations in cases of sexual assault on women and suggest steps to prevent such incidents in the state.
The panel, a permanent body, will be headed by the additional chief secretary in the state home department.
The move comes after three minor girls were raped in separate incidents recently in different parts of the state, triggering protests by women groups and citizens.
These cases were reported from Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has decided to form a five-member committee for quick and thorough investigations in rape cases and ensure punishment to the culprits.
"The committee will also suggest steps on how to stop such incidents, minister of state for home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said.
The committee will be headed by the additional chief secretary in the home department, while its members will be a secretary in the home department, secretary in the law department, the Director-General of Police (DGP) and additional DG, who is heading state CID (Crime), he said.
The committee will meet every 15 days and review all cases of sexual assault, he said.
Besides, the government has decided to request the Gujarat High Court to fast-track such cases, the minister said, adding the state will also provide dedicated public prosecutors for victims.
The state governments decision comes in the wake of recent rape incidents reported from Hyderabad and Unnao, which have caused nationwide outrage.
Earlier, in the day Jadeja visited Vadodara, where a 14-year-old girl was raped by two unidentified persons when she was sitting with a friend at Navlakhi Ground on November 28.
The culprits are yet to be nabbed by police.
In Surat, police arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter when her mother was away on Friday last.
In Rajkot, a 22-year-old man was arrested by police for allegedly raping an 8-year-old girl who was sleeping in a public park with her parents on Friday evening.
Protests were staged in different parts of the state by women groups and citizens after these rape cases.