Gang-rape: Will make Delhi a safer place, says Home Secretary

As a nationwide outrage continues over the shocking gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student, Delhi govt on Friday announced a slew of measures to strengthen the policing system to prevent recurrences of such heinous crime.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: As a nationwide outrage continues over the shocking gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student, Delhi Government on Friday announced a slew of measures aimed at strengthening the policing system to prevent recurrences of such shameful incidents.

Addressing a joint press briefing in the national capital with Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, Home Secretary RK Singh said, “I compliment the Delhi Police for their timely action and swiftness in cracking the shocking case of rape and attempted murder of a 23-year-old medical student without much leads. We have detained the fifth accused, named Raju, from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh and his age and other details are being confirmed. We have detained all accused involved in the case, except one, who is still at large. “

"With the evidence gathered so far - circumstantial, forensic and others - we are confident that we will be able to convict the accused," said Singh.

Singh said henceforth no `goondagardi` (rowdiness), `dadagiri` (bullying) or misbehaviour with women will be tolerated and police action will be visible on the ground.
The Home Secretary said no public transport - buses, taxis, autos - will be allowed to run in the national capital without police verification of drivers, cleaners or assistants and vehicles violating the rules would be impounded.

He said drunk driving, drinking and loitering, driving with tinted glass and other unlawful activities will be dealt firmly and all public transport will have to install GPS device for their close monitoring.

Singh said plain clothes policemen will be deployed in
buses and those vehicles coming from neighbouring states will be throughly checked and dark films from the window panes will be removed and those persons having licences from other states but driving vehicles in the city, will have to undergo fresh test.

Kumar said there will be a crack down on chartered buses - one of which was used for the crime. So far 1,600 such vehicles have been impounded for violating various rules.

"The regime we would like to put in place will be very strict," he said.

Asked about the growing demand that the accused should be given death penalty, Singh said police was working as per law and according to the law, life imprisonment is the maximum punishment for rape.

On the possibility of including death penalty in the law for rape convict, he said, "We will have to look into the demand...But there are many jurists, various human rights groups which are demanding abolition of capital punishment in India, though I personally believe that there should be death penalty for such crime".

Asked whether the Commissioner of Police would resign from his post taking moral responsibility of the case, Singh intervened said police has done "outstanding" job in cracking the case and trying to restore confidence among people through various security measures.

He said Delhi Police was not defensive in its response to the case and prima facie there was no fault in their part in response and investigation into the case.

The Home Secretary said advisory will be sent to all states sensitising them about crime against women and taking prevent measures.

Asked as to what will be the change in Delhi`s policing after Sunday`s gang-rape, the Home Secretary said, "There will be no tolerance to misbehaviour to women and crime against women.

"We will make Delhi a safer place. Delhi people will move freely, we will ensure that all action is taken by Delhi Police. People of Delhi will feel it," he said.

On the criticism that authorities were deploying more policemen on VIP guarding duties, Singh said there were 7,200 policemen who were guarding 2,700 `X`, `Y`, `Z` category VIPs.

The announcement from the government came on the fourth day of angry protests across the country against the shocking rape of the 23-old paramedic, whose condition declined today.

In Delhi, protests are being held at India gate, outside Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit`s residence and Police Headquarters demanding speedy justice to the rape victim.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier described the assault against the girl in a moving bus on Sunday night as "very upsetting".

The 23-year-old girl, who was also tortured, underwent a fifth surgery and "continues to be critical but stable", doctors attending on her at Safdarjung hospital said.

With Agency Inputs