With the opposition parties criticizing the ruling dispensation over the rape of six minor girls in one week, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said his government is committed to providing security to the women and children of the state.
The police authorities have been instructed to take strong and adequate legal action in offences against women and children, Patnaik, who is also in-charge of the home department, told the Assembly while replying to an adjournment debate on the law and order situation of the state.
"I would like to reiterate that the resolve of my government is to provide safety and security to all women and girl children. The government has appointed investigating officers and special public prosecutors to ensure speedy and efficacious trial in these cases," the chief minister said.
All police stations in the state have been asked to intensify patrolling near working women's hostels, women's colleges and training centres, he said, adding that the CCTV installations have been made mandatory in public places.
"Dedicated women and child help lines are functional all over the state and prompt action is taken as soon as a complaint is received," Patnaik told the members of the Assembly.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra, however, targeted the state government over the spurt in rape cases in the state.
The police took prompt action in certain cases because the issues were raised in the Assembly, Mishra claimed.
"The police do not take action unless there is "hue and cry" over an incident. We had to take up the Balasore minor rape cases with the DGP to get the accused arrested. In some cases, the police officers ask victims about their political affiliation," he alleged.
BJP MLA Radharani Panda also took a dig at the CM's statement, saying the rate of "conviction in rape cases is only 6 per cent while at least 6 women are raped in the state in a day".
"As chief minister Naveen Patnaik is in charge of home department, he is answerable for the rise in rape incidents. Why was justice denied to the Kunduli rape victim?" she asked.
The government should open mahlia police stations (women-run police stations) in each district and confiscate properties of rapists, she added.
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