New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday expressed shock and anguish over the Lajpat Nagar attempted rape case, while admitting that the national capital is still unsafe for women.
Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister said, “I am shocked to learn about the Lajpat Nagar attempted case. It is a big setback for us. This shows that women are still unsafe here.”
The Chief Minister, however, promised to do everything possible to address safety concerns of women and hinted at specific steps to ensure effective regulation of the public transport in the city.
Seeking better policing, Dikshit also sought deployment of women police personnel at all police stations to encourage women to lodge their complaints without any apprehensions.
"My government will do everything possible to provide a conducive atmosphere for the women in the city," Dikshit said while chairing a meeting called to discuss issues relating to safety of women.
The meeting was attended by Women and Child Welfare Minister Kiran Walia, Planning Commission member Sayeeda Hamid, Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women Barkha Singh, representatives of leading NGOs and Women Rights Groups and top officials of government departments.
Dikshit had been critical of functioning of Delhi Police and demanded the resignation of Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the wake of the gang-rape incident.
Delhi government had last week sent a letter to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde accusing the police of "completely deviating" from its core duties and "trivialising" the issue of safety of women. The Delhi Police functions under Home Ministry and reports to Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna.
Reacting sharply to Dikshit's comments today, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat criticised her, wondering what the Chief Minister was doing to instill confidence in women.
"She (Dikshit) is admitting that women are not secure in Delhi. Then what is her responsibility as Chief Minister? Where is the principle of accountability"? said Karat.
"Women security issue has become a political football between the state and central government. The Chief Minister blames the police. The central government defends the police. This is what is happening in Delhi. I think it is a shame," Karat said.
Delhi Chief Minister made these remarks a day after a Class 9 student fought off a rape bid in her own house by an electricity contractor who thrust an iron rod into her throat to quell her cries for help.
The matter was reported on Tuesday and the police later arrested the accused.
The victim, 19, who was attacked around 8.30 pm Monday in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar, underwent a surgery in throat next morning and is said to be in a critical condition.
With PTI inputs
First Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013, 15:23