Stating that the Government has initiated several measures to ensure safety and protection of women in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced in the Assembly that each district will have one fast-track court to try cases relating to crime against women.
Replying to a discussion on the admissibility of an adjournment motion notice, the Chief Minister said police have taken prompt action in the Dhenkanal rape and murder case by arresting both the accused persons and forwarding them to court on March 16. Congress members, however, staged a walkout not satisfied with the reply.
Naveen said women cells headed by women sub-inspectors are functioning in the police stations.
Besides, 537 posts of sub-inspectors will be created to head the mahila and sishu desks in the police stations. Sixteen courts of additional sessions judge have already been opened and 18 more will be opened soon to try cases relating to women atrocities, the Chief Minister added.
Steps have been taken to expedite cases relating to women atrocities and police have been asked to file chargesheets in such cases within 60 days.
“All major cases of rape and murder are promptly investigated and chargesheets are being filed,” the Chief Minister said and added that the State Government has also introduced victim compensation scheme. As per the scheme, a rape victim will get a compensation of ` 1.5 lakh.
Condemning the rape and murder case in Mathatentulia village under Gondia police station, Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan alleged that atrocities on dalit women is steadily rising in the State.
Referring to figures from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Harichandan alleged that 502 cases of rape of dalit women were recorded during the last three years.
The increase in the crime against women in Odisha was 22.3 per cent last year which was higher than many other States including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, he said.
Criminals are getting encouraged because of the low conviction rate, Harichandan said and added that in majority of rape cases, investigation is done in a shoddy manner.
His party colleague Santosh Singh Saluja alleged that 12,000 rape cases were registered in the last 10 years and 368 cases of gangrapes were recorded during the last five years.
Saluja demanded that trial of rape cases should be conducted in fast track courts by women judges.
Stating that conviction rate was low as persons having political affiliations are appointed as government advocates, Saluja demanded that separate cadre for public prosecutors should be created.
Several BJD members including Government Chief Whip Prabhat Tripathy, Nabin Nanda and Ranendra Pratap Swain also condemned the Dhenkanal rape and murder incident and demanded its trial in a fast-track court.