Ever since the Central government in March this year made amendments to criminal law to sternly deal with sexual assault cases,the Chandigarh Police has registered a total of 41 cases till now. The cases relate to charges of stalking,voyeurism,sexual harassment and act with the intent to disrobe a woman.
These 41 cases have been registered by the Chandigarh Police in the past five months at various police stations and police posts. As per available information,in the majority of the cases registered,the police have slapped all four offences on the accused. Of the five months,since March,the maximum number of cases a total of 17 (see box) were registered in the month of April. The amended sections are Section 354-A,354-B,354-C and 354-D of the IPC.
This was informed by the Chandigarh Police to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO,Lawyers for Human Rights International.
The PIL had raised the issue that recent amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by the Central government should be implemented by Chandigarh and police forces of Punjab and Haryana. The amendments were made by the Centre in March after the public outcry over the gangrape of a girl in Delhi in December last.
Responding to the courts notice,the Chandigarh Police on Tuesday filed an affidavit. The police have submitted that a total of 31 hot spots of eve-teasing have been identified in the city and police parties are deputed on such spots from 8 am to 10 pm.
Giving data of cases registered by the police last year,it has been stated that a total of 141 cases on charges of sexual harassment were registered by the police from September last to March 3 this year.
Also,for quick response,32 new Pulsar motorcycles were inducted into the PCR fleet of the Chandigarh Police so that whenever any call of eve-teasing or snatching is received,prompt action can be taken,reads the affidavit.
A maximum of 38 cases (on charges of eve-teasing) were registered in October last year.
The court was informed that it had initiated a facility to drop women/girls at their destination safely between 11 pm and 5 am in case any woman/girl asks for the same. This facility had been put in place since December 24 last. A woman can avail this facility by dialling 1091 or 2705011 (womens helpline numbers). Till today,only 10 women have availed this service.
Nearly three to four complaints on a daily basis on the helpline numbers are received by the Chandigarh Police from women in distress. Asserting that self-defence training is being imparted to girls,the police have stated that a total of 529 police personnel have been sensitised in this regard.