Investigation into sexual offences against women and children should be expedited and states should appoint an officer of Additional Director General of police (ADGP) rank, preferably a woman, to monitor such cases, said Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Saturday.
He was addressing the 25th meeting of the Western Zonal Council, the inter-state forum comprising the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and the Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Diu & Daman (UT of DNH and DD) in Diu.
“Honourable Union Home Minister & Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah stressed the need for early investigation of rape/sexual offences against women & children and the need for stringent punishment in a time-bound manner. He desired that an Addl. DGP level officer, preferably a lady officer, be assigned the responsibility in the Police Headquarters of each state for monitoring all such cases,” an official release from the Press Information Bureau said.
The Western Zonal Council discussed over 36 issues, of which six have been identified as significant at national level, the release said. They are improvement of banking services in rural areas, monitoring of rape and sexual offences cases against women and children, implementation of fast track courts for such cases, verification of identity of marine fishermen in high seas, development of local contingency plan by coastal states for mass rescue operation in high seas and encouragement of Make in India initiative through preference in public procurement.
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“While expressing satisfaction over the progress made on the issue of (distribution of) QR code based PVC Aadhaar cards to marine fishermen, the Union Home and Cooperation Minister urged the coastal states to make efforts to ensure that 100 per cent sea-goers, including migrants and seasonal fishermen, have Aadhaar cards which can be easily verified,” stated the release.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, his Goa counterpart Pramod Sawant, Maharashtra’s Industries Minister Subhash Desai, DNH & DD UT administrator Praful Patel and senior officers from these states and UTs as well as the Union Home Ministry attended the meeting.
“The Council in the meeting at Diu also resolved the issue of rate of tariff for water supplied to the UT of DNH & DD by the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board. Further, the deliberations provided a meeting ground between the Railways and the Government of Maharashtra on the issue of pending Forest and Wildlife clearances for the two important ongoing railway projects for gauge conversion on the Akola-Khandwa Section and the new third line Project of the Bortalao-Gondia section,” the release further said.
Shah also advised that banks including cooperative banks and the India Post Payments Bank, should ensure that each of the unbanked villages of the Western Zone are provided banking facilities within five kilometres in the next year.