September 14, 2021 5:38:46 pm
The Mumbai Police Tuesday announced the formation of a Nirbhaya Team at all police stations in the wake of the rape and murder of a 32-year-old woman from Sakinaka last week. The teams will have to carry out a set of duties on a daily basis which includes keeping a tab on sexual offenders, training women in self-defense, organising workshops, counselling victims, collecting intelligence on predators and, most importantly, visiting schools, colleges and NGO centres in slum pockets to create awareness among minor girls about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and other provisions put in place to safeguard them.
“The Nirbhaya Teams are being made with an aim to create a respectful environment for women in the society, to create fear of law in minds of sexual predators and to curb cases of crime against women,” states a press note issued by Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale. A two-day training is being provided to the teams.
The teams will be given a special patrolling van. They will have to find out places where there have been instances of crime against women in the recent past and create a patrolling pattern accordingly. They will also help women traveling alone at night. The team members have been asked to draw up a list of all women senior citizens living alone in their jurisdiction and meet them regularly.
The team will maintain a separate database of all sexual offenders with a criminal record in the last five years and keep a tab on their activities to ensure that they do not continue harassing women once out on bail. The status of the cases registered against them also have to be updated.
The team will visit children’s homes, orphanages, women’s shelters and women’s hostels to ensure the safety of the inhabitants. A Nirbhaya complaint box will be kept at these places and a record will have to be maintained on action taken after receiving such complaints.
The teams will be given pen-cameras to track the movement of stalkers and to record the daily activities of the team members. The teams will also have to organise self-defense classes in schools and colleges for women and visit these institutions on parents’ meet days to give a PowerPoint presentation elaborating their work. A booklet on laws for protection of women will be circulated during such awareness programmes.
A special centre will be set up for these teams in each of the five regions (east, west, south, north, central) headed by five regional Additional Police Commissioners. The centre will be used to impart training to the teams, conduct awareness sessions on laws pertaining to women’s safety and to provide counselling to survivors of sexual crimes and juveniles in conflict with the law.
A woman Assistant Police Commissioner and a woman Police Inspector will be appointed in each region as nodal officers in charge of monitoring the team’s daily activities. The region’s Additional Commissioner will conduct a meeting with the teams in the first week of each month to decide on the month’s activities.
The Nirbhaya Teams will have to maintain a record of all their daily activities and update the Mumbai Police Commissioner periodically. Every month, the Commissioner will pick the best-performing team.
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