New Delhi: Advocating the need of including self defence training for girls at the school level, Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi said that girls and women must be taught self-defence methods if crimes against them are to be controlled. “We have recommended to government for including self defence training of girls in the curriculum from third standard,” he said.
The police commissioner was speaking at a conference titled ‘Safe City is a Smart City’, organised by the Centre for Social Research in New Delhi.
Stating that the mindset of men would not change for generations, the top cop urged women for hitting back against the molesters. “If women start hitting back, it will add immensely to women’s security. Girls must convey that they are not scared,” Bassi said.
Bassi said that men with ‘criminal mindsets’ made women their targets as they were secure in the knowledge that the victims would not strike back. “I do not think that the mindset of men can be changed in next 500 years. Self-defence training will be the only saviour till there is a change in that,” he said.
However, the idea of Delhi police citing self-defence training as the most viable solution did not go well with the activists at the conference as many of them flagged their concerns about the suggestion. Many activists felt that the police should create a safe environment for women in Delhi instead of exhorting them for self defence.
Talking about the affirmative action being taken by the Delhi police for the safety of women, Bassi said that all rape cases in the city were being investigated by women. Bassi highlighted that in most rape cases the victim is known to the accused while strangers constituted only 3.47% of the accused in such crimes.
Lauding the success of Himmat, a women safety mobile app of Delhi Police that has logged more than 43,000-downloads since it launch in January this year, Bassi said that Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) could play a crucial role in increasing the sense of safety among women.
Anjali Mehta, a women's rights activist, said that a very high number of cases are lost because the evidence is destroyed. “We need a high-tech forensic laboratory for expediting cases and to ensure that culprits do not escape,” she said.
Activists like Gauri Chaudhary urged the policemen for being more respectful towards women while dispensing their daily duties. “Cops should learn to respect women both inside and outside the police stations. They need to dress up properly while being on duty at the police stations,” she said.