The Delhi High Court has said it was satisfied that sufficient steps, including the installation of 4,388 CCTV cameras in vulnerable areas, have been taken by the police to ensure safety and security of women in the national capital. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao was told by the Delhi Police that a 24-hour helpline number 1091 is operational and separate specialised women police team is functional to attend to women in distress round-the-clock. "In view of the stand taken by the Delhi Police in the status report..., we are satisfied that sufficient and appropriate steps have been taken by the respondents," the bench said.
The court disposed of public interest litigation (PIL) filed last year by some lawyers for the safety of women after a few women complained about "urine and semen-filled" balloons allegedly being hurled at them in and around North Campus of the Delhi University. The petitioner lawyers had sought formulation of guidelines to ensure the safety of women during occasions such as Holi and to initiate an exercise of mapping of all vulnerable areas with regard to women safety.
The court had earlier directed the police to indicate the status regarding the installation of CCTV cameras in the city. The police in its affidavit has also said that in the alleged incident regarding throwing of a "urine-filled balloon" at a woman in the campus area, the "complainant did not cooperate" and therefore, the case was marked as "untraced". With regard to the alleged throwing of a "semen-filled balloon", the police has said that the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) did not find any trace of semen on the complainant women's clothes.
It said that it had arrested one person in March last year in connection with the second incident, but he was released on bail, adding that a charge sheet was filed in the matter. The Delhi Police has said it was imparting self-defence training to women and also conducting programme to empower them. The officials also pay regular visits to schools and interact with girl students to educate them about basic precautions against sexual abuse and to report about crimes, gender sensitisation sessions are also organised for boys and girls in schools and colleges, it has said.
It has also said that under the 'Sishtachar' scheme, women police officers dressed in plain clothes are posted at busy places like markets, metro stations, cinema halls, bus stops to keep a watch on miscreants. The petitioners, in their plea, had also sought setting up of women police control rooms (PCRs), increase in the number of women police booths and an anonymous drop box for written complaints, claiming that complainants are often bullied and harassed.
(With inputs from agencies.)