New Delhi: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Thursday directed all states and union territories in the country to re-train their respective police officers in various aspects of sexual offences.
In the wake of recent and absolutely horrendous rape incidents in Kathua and Unnao, the role of police as the first investigative agency has been questioned. In the case of Unnao in particular, UP Police has been accused of folding under pressure because the main accused for a BJP politician.
In a letter, Maneka Gandhi has said that police forces in every state and union territory must be given training once again on how to cover various aspects of investigations in cases of sexual offences.
Maneka Gandhi writes that there should be four primary steps that need to be taken:
1)All police officers should be re-trained on various aspects of sexual offences particularly those related to collection and preservation of evidence.
2) Instructions may be issued to all police officers that utmost priority is to be given to complete the investigation of cases of sexual offences against children strictly as per the timelines of Law.
3) State Governments must take strict action against those police officers who are found to be obstructing the investigation or colluding with the perpetrators of such cases.
4) A quick and timely professional investigation is the only method in which a potential offender can be deterred but this can be done only by the states as the police department is the state subject. Forming a special cell only for sexual offences or specially for sexual offences on children, would be a significant step in this regard.
The minister has also offered central government's help to states in establishing forensic laboratories, apart from asking for suggestions. She then stressed that Section 21 of the POSCO Act 'may be invoked in all cases wherever failure to report or record is noted.'