In one of his key decisions after taking over as Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur on Friday announced setting up of 24×7 ‘Guddia’ helpline for safety of women. The helpline will work directly under the supervision of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and action will have to follow mandatorily within 48 hours.
Gudiya is the nickname given to 16-year-old schoolgirl from Kotkhai who went missing on her way home from school at Mahasu and whose body was later found dumped in the forests two days later. After widespread protests, including violence in which the police station at Kotkhai was set ablaze, the case was referred to the CBI by Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The BJP, in its Vision Document released before the Assembly polls held late last year, had promised a helpline to check crime against women.
At a press meet at the Press Club in Shimla, the Chief Minister said three special crime cells would be set up, each in three police ranges of Mandi, Kangra and Shimla, which would be required to report all such cases of crime against women with no time loss.
“The day-to-day reporting will be monitored by the CMO and action taken within 48 hours. There will be zero-tolerance for crime against women,” the CM said.
Thakur said the helpline with requisite infrastructure and necessary facilities would become operational soon.
He also announced ‘Atal Helpline’ for dealing with complaints of corruption. The BJP, during the election campaign, had also promised Hoshiar Singh help line to report information relating to general crime, including forest felling. This will also be made functional soon, said the CM.
Thakur also announced to initiative stringent measures to curb drug menace in the state as well as cases of cyber crimes. The CM assured to look into the pensionary and medical facilities to journalists and announced a sum of Rs five lakh for the Shimla Press Club.
President of Shimla Press Club Dhananjay Sharma welcomed the CM and other dignitaries present on the occasion.