In the face of strong criticism from the Opposition political parties for the growing number of crime against women in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said this is a nationwide phenomenon and everybody should rise above party lines to condemn it and take the strongest possible steps to prevent and punish such depraved acts.
During the last one year, there has been a sharp focus on the increasing number of cases of violence against women in the country, the Chief Minister said, while replying to a debate on the demand for grants of the Home department in the Assembly. “The Nirbhaya case at Delhi only goes to show the level to which such cases have grown in our country,” he said.
The Chief Minister said for making police people-friendly, reception centres are being constructed in the police stations in a phased manner. Besides, a waiting room, there are provisions for toilet and drinking water facilities in these reception centres, he said and added that funds have been provided in the first phase to start construction in 210 police stations in the State during 2012-13. There is a proposal to take up construction of reception centres-cum-mahila sishu desk buildings in 135 more police stations during 2013-14, he said.
Announcing that the State Government will introduce community policing on a pilot basis in some urban areas from April 1, the Chief Minister said under this scheme, a police station will be divided into contiguous beats and a police officer of the rank of ASI, havildar or constable will act as the beat police officer.
Stating that police stations will be made coterminous with the blocks for better coordination at the field level, the Chief Minister said a block may have two or more police stations depending on its area and population, but no police station will cut into more than one block. Each gram panchayat as a whole will be part of one police station only, he said and added that the reorganisation of police stations will be completed soon.