BHUBANESWAR: To take on rising crimes against women, mostly heinous ones, seven Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW) will be set up in Odisha as part of the Ministry of Home Affair’s endeavour to set up 150 such units across the country.
The State Police has proposed that the seven units be set up at Commissionerate of Police at Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Rourkela, Berhampur, Puri, Angul and Sambalpur. A proposal to this effect has already been submitted to the State Government.
The IUCAWs will be specialised units which will not only probe cases referred to them but also strengthen the investigative machinery against offences including rape, dowry death, acid attack and human trafficking. The units would also be mandated to encourage women to come forward to report these cases, act against organised crime, gather intelligence and monitor implementation of legislative provisions.
Each unit, according to the MHA, will have 15 personnel, five of whom will be women. An ASP-ranked officer, assisted by two DSPs, will head the units.
While the establishment of 150 IUCAWs on a pilot basis will cost about Rs 84 crore, half of it will be borne by the States. Sources in the State Police said the MHA was also impressed upon to provide a one-time grant for provision of infrastructure for such units and the latter has agreed to it.
Since the Home Ministry has already given a go-ahead to the States to start the units and claim the cost of reimbursements beginning January, the Odisha Police has requested the Government to activate the units soon, Additional Director-General of Police, Crime Branch, B K Sharma told this paper.
Since the seven units in Odisha would require seven ASPs and 14 DSPs, the Government will take a call whether to create new posts or use the existing manpower to make the IUCAWs operational. This operational flexibility will remain with the State.
All the units would operate under the district SPs and take up investigations referred to them. Although the MHA had suggested that districts with high crime rates against women should be sanctioned these units, the State Police has chosen the seven districts given the sensitivity of crimes being reported in these areas.
As per the structure suggested by the Home Ministry, each of these specialised units would consist of four sub-units to be headed by Inspector-ranked officers which will be the core units. The two DSPs would supervise two sub-units each.
The MHA has also said that the State could set up separate fast track courts to deal with these cases.
- Seven units to be set up at Commissionerate of Police at Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Rourkela, Berhampur, Puri, Angul and Sambalpur
- IUCAWs will strengthen investigative machinery against rape, dowry death, acid attack
- The units would be mandated to encourage women to come forward to report cases