On the eve of the 4th anniversary of the December 16 gangrape, DCW chief Swati Maliwal has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hear the “mann ki baat” of the women of Delhi and ensure that a high-level committee on women’s safety is set up. In a letter to Modi, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson also sought time to brief him on the issues related to women’s safety and security in the national capital. Maliwal stated that the women and girls of Delhi are paying the price of the tussle of governance between the Centre and the Delhi government, saying the situation will improve only if they come together and make collective efforts.
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She pointed out that despite repeated requests by the Commission, the high level committee on women safety which should be chaired by the Union Home Minister and would comprise of the Delhi chief minister, Delhi LG, DCW Chairperson and Police Commissioner has not been constituted.
Furthermore, the LG has not yet convened a single meeting on women safety in the past year despite express instructions from the MHA. Maliwal also informed the PM on the disbandment of the special task force in the Home Ministry under the chairpersonship of the Home Secretary.
“The STF formed through a parliamentary assurance after the Nirbhaya case, was abruptly disbanded by the MHA in July 2016 stating that the objective of the STF had been fulfilled. If the High Level Committee is established, crimes against women and girls will reduce in Delhi,” she said in the letter.
“And decisions regarding formation of thana level committees, implementation of the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme, digitisation of police records, installation of CCTV cameras in Delhi especially in police stations, construction of toilets, forensic labs and courts would have been speeded up,” the letter said, according to a DCW statement.
She further drew Modi’s attention towards the gross underutilisation of the Nirbhaya Fund created after the sensational December 16 gangrape and murder case. The Delhi government had sought the Nirbhaya Fund for installation of CCTV cameras in DTC buses but till date, this file has been pending with the Centre, she added. In the letter, Maliwal highlighted the plight of women and girls despite passage of four years since the brutal gangrape case.
Maliwal said that minors as young as 3-year-old are being raped and the crimes against women are increasing day by day in the national capital. “Everyday, over six Nirbhayas are being created in Delhi and Delhi has come to be known as the rape capital of the world. Nothing has changed in the women safety scenario in Delhi over the past four years,” she said.
The Commission feels that strong deterrence will be created against crimes against women if swift and certain punishments are meted out to criminals, she added. The DCW chief also informed the PM that there has been a splurge of attack against the Commission over the past few months since it attempted to stop the human trafficking at GB Road and that false FIRs have been lodged against them to deter their functioning.
Apprising Modi about the work done in the last one-and-half-years by DCW, Maliwal claimed that constant attacks are being made on DCW’s autonomy and salaries of the staff of of over 3 months had been withheld. The Commission and its programs like the 181 Women Helpline, the Rape Crisis Cell and others are on a verge of closure. Instead of stopping rapes, efforts were being made to stop DCW’s work, she said.