The anger of the people is boiling in both the case of Hyderabad’s daughter or Unnao’s daughter. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued dozens of advisories in the last few years for women’s safety. Had all the states and union territories accepted the advice of the Ministry of Home Affairs in time, the daughters of Unnao and Hyderabad would have been alive today. The Home Ministry had also sent half a dozen advisories this year to ensure the safety of the villagers.
The ministry, in its advice, had also mentioned all the measures that can be taken to prevent heinous crimes with women. Key things included ‘Good Samaritan’ and ‘Zero FIR’. Most states have unnecessarily delayed implementing a dozen recommendations of the Union Home Ministry.
Advisory was released in 2015
The Center-State Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an advisory on 12 May 2015 to the Chief Secretaries of all the states and administrators of the Union Territories on the issue of women safety, stating a dozen recommendations. Such as, ‘Good Samaritan’ or not allowing the complainant to get in trouble in any way and do a zero FIR immediately on receiving information, increase the number of women in the police force, deployment of beat constable in crime prone areas, police help booth, Increase in night patrolling, increase in number of women in mobile police vans, increase police patrolling on the way women workers go to their homes or offices. Several things have been included in the recommendations of the Ministry like making the route completely safe, especially at night.
What is Good Samaritan?
In the case of road accidents, people are now getting to know ‘Good Samaritan’ quite a bit. They know that helping a person injured in a road accident, such as transporting them to a hospital, informing the police or helping in any other way, all come under Good Samaritan. The police will not interrogate the person helping in such cases. The person concerned can hide his name and address too. He will not be called to the police station for any action and enquiry.
The situation today is that most people do not come forward for help during a criminal incident. They think that the police will later harass them in the name of interrogation. In this regard, the states neither made the police nor the people aware.
Training programs should be conducted on gender sensitivity
The Ministry, in its recommendations, said that there should be an in-depth work on gender sensitivity, but most states have taken it lightly. Except for some metro cities, no work was done in this direction. It was said that gender sensitivity training programs should be started for policemen at a regular interval. In their annual performance appraisal report, points should be given that such and such police personnel have done this good work for gender sensitivity.
This should also be taken care of in posting and promotion. When police stations and checkpoints are inspected, the gender sensitivity was asked to be included. Ministry sources say that no state has done commendable work in this direction. A lot of work has been done in metro cities like Delhi.
State not conscious about zero FIR
The Home Ministry had also issued an advisory on 16 May and 5 December this year. In which it was said to strengthen the zero FIR and legal aspects in the case of women. Special guidelines were issued for the safety of women. The police was told in detail about how to work proactive and how to take action in cases of serious sexual offenses. The advisory on the Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offenders (ITSSO) also did not do much work.
This system was to be combined with CCTNS. The subject of zero FIRs was heavily explained to the policemen, but even today most of the states are not interested in this and even in serious sexual offenses, the victims have to go around due to police station limits.
Modern forensic lab could not be ready
On September 10, 2019, an advisory was issued for all states and union territories to set up a modern forensic lab to investigate cases related to sexual offenses. Doing so will speed up the investigation of cases. It will help to have concrete facts against the accused before the court. The Ministry of Home Affairs had also mentioned the training and tools required for this.
The National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science and BPR & D were said to set the training schedule. A BPR&D official says that a database of seven lakh sexual offenders has been prepared across the country.
It had to take all the states to every police station and outpost. For this, it was said to seek the help of CCTNS, but so far most states could not do anything special in this direction. The budget was released on 10 September 2019 to set up a forensic lab to investigate sexual offenses. Rs 105.90 crore for forensic lab and Rs 131.09 crore were given for setting up DNA analyzer unit. A budget of Rs 93.76 crore was given for cyber forensic unit separately.
These were recommendations regarding the safety of women
Emergency Response Support System should be started at an accelerated pace. There should be no delay in filing a case under Sections 326A, 326B, 354, 354B, 370, 370A, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376E and Section 509. If an officer does not register a case or delays, then a criminal offense should be registered against him. In this case there is a provision of punishment ranging from six months to two years. The data base of sex offenders should be ready, it should be linked with CCTNS.