When Delhi was celebrating Holi, three minor girls aged: three, four and seven, were brutally raped in separate incidents. The seven-year-old was first murdered and then raped. Sadly, the city has grown accustomed to rape of little girls.
In 2014, the capital recorded a miniscule number of convictions in all cases of crimes against women. The low conviction rates have reinforced the lack of fear in people’s minds. Unless there is swiftness and certainty of punishment, a Delhi that is safe for women and children is a far cry.
The Delhi Police is a crucial agency in stemming such crimes. Again in 2014, of 11,000 FIRs, the police filed charge sheets in only 50 per cent of the cases. Accountability of the force and their resources need to be strengthened, which requires the cooperation of the Centre. The Delhi government’s intervention is needed to set up more forensic labs, fast-track courts, last-mile connectivity of transport systems, and illumination of dark spots.
The DCW is advocating a high-level committee, comprising of the MHA, Delhi government and Delhi Police to converge regularly and rectify the system. Delhi has turned into a hub of human trafficking. A law for regulating placement agencies, which double up as fronts for trafficking, is a necessity. The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit needs to be strengthened.
Delhi needs citizen activism. If families say no to dowry, focuses on gender-sensitivity and empowers its daughters, the crimes will decrease.
The author is chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women