Mumbai: Terming as "condemnable and serious" the attack on police, including women constables during the August 11 violence, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said steps are being taken to boost the morale of police force and stringent punishment will be handed down to rioters.
"The state government is taking all steps to boost the morale of the police force, especially women members after the incident," the chief minister told National Women`s Commission (NWC) chairperson Mamata Sharma during a meeting held at Sahaydri guest house here.
Chavan told Sharma that the police were in possession of the video footage of vandalism and the process of identifying the culprits is on.
"It was expected that about 15,000 people will participate in the protest rally at Azad Maidan and the police bandobast was arranged accordingly," he said.
Chavan said the government did not anticipate attack on women constables during the protest.
"During police recruitment, 30 per cent women constables are recruited and are trained the same way as their male counterparts. The attack on women constables was unexpected," he admitted.
Chavan said so far 53 people have been arrested for the violence that left two persons dead and many injured.
While a person involved in the desecration of `Amar Jawan memorial` near BMC office has been arrested, another person involved in the act has been identified.
Crime branch will file a chargesheet against all of them soon, he added.
Demanding strict action against those involved in attacking women constables, Sharma suggested that police officials tackling huge mobs be given body protection jackets.
Sharma congratulated women cops for standing their ground despite the attack by rioters. She appealed to the government to take steps to boost their confidence.
Meanwhile, Sharma in a memorandum to Chavan said the
NCW has taken a suo motto cognisance of the incident where women police staff on duty were "molested, roughed-up, outraged and assaulted by the culprits".
"The NCW has recommended that the case be tried by fast track court. The culprits should be given stringent punishment as per the law," she said.
Sharma said the commission has recommended the appointment of a special prosecutor and also asked for adequate financial compensation for those women cops who were injured in the incident.
Infrastructure like women`s hostel, mess, creches, day-care centres, washrooms, rest rooms be created for women cops at the earliest, Sharma said, adding during special circumstances, overnight stay and transport facilities be also provided to them.
Since women have multi-tasking responsibilities to perform ,there is need to regulate eight-hour duty for the women police staff with timely relievers available for them, she said.
The commission also met Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh to discuss the issue. The members saw the audio visuals and CCTV footage of the incident and held detailed discussion with senior police officials.