The national Capital has been often stigmatised as the 'rape capital'. However, investigations by the Delhi Police have found the involvement of persons who were known to the victims. Statistics compiled by the Delhi Police speak for itself as 98.2 per cent persons accused of rape were acquaintances of the victims. The involvement of strangers has come down to a mere 1.8 per cent.
In the year 2019, on an average 5-6 rape cases and six to eight cases of molestation are reported on daily basis, as per the Delhi Police statistics. Involvement of known people has made the job of the Delhi Police more challenging. What is more alarming is the fact that victims not only include minor girls but boy too who are sexually exploited by predators. And most of these cases were reported from JJ clusters and slum areas. Investigation found that rapists were neighbours and even close family members.
According to the Delhi Police data for the current year, "A total of 2,616 women reported molestation cases, 427 filed a cases of outraging the modesty of women, 3,104 cases of kidnapping of women while 1,947 rape cases have been registered till November 15, 2019, in the Capital. As the year closes, rape figure may well jump over 2,000 cases."
"The reason behind rise in such cases is the addiction to drugs and less awareness. These crimes are also committed by people who are repeat offenders. That is someone who has a history of sexual violence or even violence. These are people usually known to the victim and children and fall their prey," said Dr Sanjana Saraf , a clinical psychologist in national Capital.
"Also rise in rape cases can also be attributed to objectification of women, that is, women or girls or girl child are viewed and treated as mere objects from the very beginning, judged only on the basis of their body. In such instances rape becomes a means to exert power and control over women. This mindset in society can change only by working on reducing gender disparity in our homes and schools," she added.
"Parents are out on their work and their children are left behind either with neighbours, relatives or grandparents. Sometimes after luring the children the known person takes advantage of the situation and assault the minor child," said Vijayanta Arya, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), North West district.
"To create awareness among children and parents, the Delhi Police in February this year launched 'NAAZUK'. The main purpose is to generate awareness about child sexual abuse particularly crime against children. The initiative is different from 'Nirbheek' programme of the Delhi Police because, in Nirbheek, police address children in schools while in 'Naazuk', police reach out to children and their parents in their residential areas and living spaces," said Arya.
"Since the launch of Naazuk, the police have sensitised more than 45,000 children living across the national Capital in JJ clusters. Police teams organise awareness programmes under Naazuk scheme every week," said Arya.
According to senior officials, Delhi Commissioner of Police, Amulya Patnaik has issued a standing order of making the personal and public spaces of children secure and safe for them.
"To deal with the situation police also conducts meetings with representatives of various NGOs, working in the field for empowerment of women, on weekly basis to discuss the improvements in safety and security of women in Delhi," said a senior police official.
"Police have requested the Delhi Government for improving last mile connectivity and also requested the Social Welfare Department for initiating programmes for awareness and education in slums and places recording higher incidents of crime against women," said the senior police official.
"Delhi Police has also requested the city Government for installation of lights on dark stretches, including self-defence as part of school curriculum," he added.
"Expeditious completion of investigation of rape cases is of paramount importance of the Delhi Police. Investigation in every rape case is closely monitored by the concerned DCP and the endeavour is to file chargesheet within twenty days of arresting the accused," said the senior police official.
As safety of women in the national Capital continues to remain a cause of concern, police have laid emphasis on popularisation of 'Himmat Plus', creating gender sensitisation and mindset reformation as a part of 'Sashakti'. Identification of dark stretches and sharing information with civic agencies is also on the fore.
According to a senior police official, after Munirika brutal gangrape in December 2012, several initiatives were launched by the Delhi Police to bring down the crimes against women.
Emergency Helpline No. 112 :- "Police emergency helpline No. 112 functions 24 X 7 round the year from the Police Headquarters. This emergency number is very popular among women as well as others and is being extensively used," said Anil Mittal, Additional Public Relation Officer (APRO), Delhi Police.
Women Helpline 1091 :- "A 24 hour helpline 1091 is functional since September, 2002 to reach out to women in distress. A separate specialised Women Police Mobile Team is functioning to attend to distress calls on this emergency helpline round-the-clock," said Mittal.
Anti-Stalking Services for Women :- "One of the main problems faced by the women in Delhi is receiving of obnoxious telephone calls and stalking using mobile phones. There are thousands of such calls received by women complaining of this. Hence, all such distress calls from women about stalking are diverted to a special anti-stalking group in the CPCR which functions 24x7. From here, the police teams ring-up the abusing number and effectively deal with the aggressor which is the demand by most of the complainants," said Mittal.
Himmat Plus App :-"The Himmat Plus SOS App for women was re-launched on 6th Feb. 2018. The App has been made bilingual. The app has been transformed from an Emergency Safety App to a Utility App for all sections of the society. The facebook page of the Delhi Traffic Police and Twitter handle of the Delhi Police have also been linked in the App to provide traffic updates as well other updates of the Delhi Police for the benefit of the users," said Mittal.
"A special feature for scanning the QR code of the drivers of the Taxies, TSRs and e-Rickshaws has been built in the new App. In order to increase the effectiveness and reach of Himmat App amongst youth and women, its registration process has been simplified. Its user interface is being made more user-friendly and an effective advertisement campaign is also being planned. During the year 2019 (upto 30th Nov.), 23,369 downloads have been counted and 15,602 persons have registered on the Apps," Mittal added.
TATPAR: A far-reaching digital initiative was launched by the Delhi Police in September 2019 to smoothen its service delivery to the citizens of Delhi. TATPAR - literally signifying ever-readiness to respond - amalgamates all the websites and mobile applications of Delhi Police, and over 50 services can be accessed with a single touch.
PRAKHAR - "A total of 30 street crime patrol vans were launched in September 2019 by the Delhi Police to tackle the problem of street crime in the National Capital. These special patrols cover the identified 'Crime Hot Spots' in the city, equipped with more firepower and modern technology. The staff component includes a woman police officer, especially in areas prone to crime against women," said Sharat Kumar Sinha, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Police Control Room (PCR).
"In view of recurring complaints about eve-teasing, local police and PCR vans are deployed outside girls' schools and colleges at opening and closing times," Sinha added.
ALL WOMEN PCR VANS:- "Fifteen PCR Vans, manned by all women staff, from driver to I/C Van are stationed at the following places, that are C-Hexagon- Rajpath, Jesus & Mary College, India Gate Inner Circle,American Centre / K.G. Marg (Janpath), Rajeev Chowk (Metro Station), Khan Market Metro Station, Patel Chest Hospital, DU Metro Station, Karol Bagh (Metro Station), Mata Sundri College, S.V. College (South Campus), Lady Shri Ram College (South Campus), Dayal Singh College, CGO Complex, Gargi College, Nehru College and Laxmi Bai College, Ashok Vihar. This service is proposed to be extended to other areas prone to Crime against Women," Sinha said.
Special Police Unit for North Eastern People :- "A Special Police Unit for North Eastern people has been set up in Nanakpura for making life more secure for them, and also issues related to Safety of Women pertaining to North-East region," said Mittal. "Vulnerable routes taken by women returning from entertainment hubs and malls are being patrolled with increased redeployment of pickets, PCR vans and motorcycle patrols," Mittal added. "Intensive patrolling by Beat Officers is being done around malls, complexes, restaurant clusters," said Mittal.
Sensitization and check on public drinking: - Action against consuming alcohol in public place has been intensified.
Traffic Police:- Traffic police has launched special drives against Public Transport vehicles with films and tinted glasses, unauthorized buses picking up passengers from crowded bus stands, and against TSR/Taxi drivers for refusal or misbehavior.
"Special deployment of the staff outside Metro Stations, designated Bus Stops, Malls at identified vulnerable routes is being done to inculcate confidence and provide on the spot help to public transport users," said Mittal.
Gender Sensitisation:- Gender Sensitization and legal awareness programmes are being organized for police personnel in association with the NGOs to create a gender-friendly environment in police stations of Delhi considering the need to educate and sensitize the police personnel on gender and related issues including legal provisions so that women do not face apathy and callousness while approaching police in distress.
"A total of 331 gender sensitization programme have been conducted in which 9176 police personnel have participated in the year 2018 and 316 gender sensitization programme have been conducted in which 8,925 police personnel have participated during the year 2019 (upto 30th November)," said Mittal.
Shishtachar:- "Under this scheme women police officers, dressed in civil clothes, are posted at busy places like markets, metro stations, cinema halls and buses to keep a watch on the miscreants. In case someone is caught while eve teasing or demonstrating illicit behaviour, the person is immediately nabbed and taken to the police station for further course of action.
Exclusive Help Desks for Women in Police Stations:- Woman Help Desks are functioning 24X7 to attend to women complainants and facility of one dedicated telephone line has also been provided in all the Police Stations on this desk.