July 15, 2021 12:44:08 am
Following the arrest of 14 persons in the case of the alleged public assault against a 23-year-old woman in Khajuri village of Dhanpur Taluka of Dahod district, the district administration and police have decided to launch a joint programme for human behavioural change in the tribal belt that is ridden with social evil practices, especially against women.
A team of officials will begin visiting tribal villages across the district to make the women aware of their legal rights in case of attacks and to educate the population against resorting to crime.
Superintendent of Police, Dahod, Hitesh Joysar, said that a team of officials including the police, local administration, counsellors as well as officers of the women and child protection cell of the district police will visit the villages in the tribal belt to create awareness, beginning with the villages located on the borders shared with Madhya Pradesh.
Joysar said, “After analysing the incident, we realised that this is the third such reported incident since 2019. There are many such cases that go unreported. In this case, the police proactively took action and arrested 14 persons but we need to take a step from preventing such crimes from happening, especially against women. We understand that this is a tribal area where the population has a mindset and the women are unaware of their rights. So, we have decided to form a team as part of a joint initiative with district administration and the women and child protection cell. The team of officials will educate the people about what they should do and what are the laws available to women.”
Joysar said that since Covid-19 protocols do not allow organizing mass programmes, the teams will begin visiting the villages individually this week. “The team will visit the villages, which usually comprise one or two faliyas (lanes) and are mostly scattered as per the geographical make-up of the area. We are narrowing down those villages, where we believe that this kind of mindset is more prevalent. We are trying to statistically prepare the list of villages we should first go based on the kind of complaints and incidents that have been recorded,” he said.
The teams will first counsel the people about not resorting to attacks and violence against any person even if there is a disagreement in the neighbourhood. “The counsellors will also urge women to be aware of their legal rights and how they can reach out to the police in case they are victims of such attacks. We will also involve NGOs to join in creating awareness against superstitious practices. The women have the laws to protect them and they will be educated about it as well as the 181 Abhayam helpline in times of distress,” Joysar said.
The police have nabbed 14 of the 18 accused in the incident that took place in Khajuri village, where a woman was partially stripped and assaulted in public by her husband and relatives over suspicion that she had an illicit affair with another man. Three of these accused were arrested on Thursday.
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