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Where is the change? ask women as safety remains key issue

PTI | Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 12:20

New Delhi:The brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old exactly a year ago had led to massive public outcry with thousands of people pouring out on streets in rage forcing Parliament to enact a new anti-rape law but nothing much has changed when it comes to safety of women in the capital.

Though the governments, both at the Centre and the city, claimed they have initiated a number of measures to improve security of women, experts and activists feel not much success has been achieved to make women feel safe in Delhi.

The Delhi Government had rolled out a slew of initiatives like setting up a helpline (181) for women but its promise of installing GPS system in buses and autos, introduction of special pink autos for women and streamlining the transport system remained on paper.

"I still don`t feel safe while travelling by public transport, auto drivers still refuse to go to certain destinations. I still haven`t seen any PCR patrolling regularly in my area," said Bhawna Tuteja, a working professional.

According to Delhi police data, a total of 1493 cases of rape were registered in the national capital till November 30 which is more than double in 2012 while molestation cases have registered a five-fold increase to 3,237.

Even the victim`s father rued that even after so much hue and cry, the "change" is missing.

"There were huge protests and even the laws were changed and police have become more active and alert, but have the crimes against women stopped. Every other day cases of rape and sexual harassment are getting reported, where is the change. I don`t see any change...Do you?" he said.

Sharing the same views, Suman Rajput said, "What kind of example has been set that the convicts will be sentenced but never hanged. And even if they are punished, it will happen years later. Isn`t it the same as what has been happening in past. Then how can we say that `something` has changed?"

The Centre had brought a legislation in April that provided for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill-2013 was brought against the backdrop of the country-wide outrage over Delhi gangrape, and it was named the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.

The law, passed by Lok Sabha on March 19 and by Rajya Sabha on March 21, has replaced an Ordinance promulgated on February 3.

First Published: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 12:20
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