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There is need for greater representation of women in police

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

To ensure conviction in the cases related to crime against women there is a need for greater representation of women in the police force and rigorous training in evidence collection and investigations, experts said.

They emphasised on the need for better partnership between civil society groups working in these areas and the police and other government agencies, saying this was a process that had picked up pace over the past years to uphold the rule of law and the rights of people.

Vrinda Grover, prominent Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist while addressing a national conference on "First Response, Good Policing and Rape Survivors", asserted that while there was an increase in reports about sexual violence, there was underreporting of sexual assaults in the families and the places of work.

"There is a need for greater representation of women in the police force and rigorous training in evidence collection and investigation, without which convictions in cases become impossible," Grover said.

Former Director General of Police Kanwaljit Deol said that there was no political will in the country to keep women safe and it can never become an election issue.

"I also feel that the police have been used very badly in our country, politically. The good officers, who are in the position to lead, are sidelined. There is no political will in this country to keep women safe. It is never an election issue," Deol said.

Discussions was organised by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in collaboration with the British High Commission revolved around the initiatives being taken by the police in Delhi and Mumbai to improve women's safety and the key interventions required to support rape survivors.

"A victim becomes a survivor only when justice is done, conviction takes place and he or she is rehabilitated. The legal community and the civil society should join hands to protect the dignity of the complainants, and guide victims through the legal processes and help with their rehabilitation," said Flavia Agnes, lawyer and co-founder of the Mumbai-based NGO, Majlis.

Delhi Police Special Commissioner (Women's Safety) Sanjay Beniwal said that from the police perspective, the biggest change after the Nirbhaya incident was that took place was "no questions are asked when a victim files a complaint and the registration of FIR is not restricted by jurisdiction".

CHRI also released a 14-minute film "24 Hours" on the work and challenges before the police and other responders in the crucial first 24 hours after a rape survivor comes to the police with a complaint.

Andrew Mackenzie, Deputy Head (Political and Bilateral Affairs) at the British High Commission said, "globally, one in three women are beaten or sexually abused once in their lifetime. It is our hope that institutions will be able to use this film to shape their trainings and procedures and design the best possible response while engaging with rape survivors".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 29 2017. 19:57 IST