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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

T.M. C.M. Jaya cracks whip on rapists

Death penalty and chemical castration for rapists are amongst a string of stringent measures propounded by chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday even as the nation mourned the death of the Delhi rape victim and her ashes immersed in the Ganga by the distraught family. In a timely initiative that is bound to apply the brakes on potential rapists, the Tamil Nadu CM in a statement here announced a 13-point charter of action to ensure protection for women. She said her government would urge the Centre to amend laws to provide death penalty and chemical castration for Expressing grief over the death of the 23-year-old Delhi rape victim, Jayalalithaa announced the charter for guaranteeing women’s safety and prevent incidents of sexual harassment, which she said would be treated as grave crime to be handled by senior police officers. Rules would be amended to enable the police to keep the accused in their custody for 30 days (presently the limit is 15 days), to prevent anticipatory bail for the accused and denial of bail until the court decides the case. Also, the Goondas Act would be amended to bring rapists under its ambit. In an effort to speed up effective investigation of such cases in sensitive manner, she said, women inspectors or sub-inspectors would handle them under the direct supervision of the district SPs and range DIGs. These officers would conduct monthly review of cases. “Zonal IGs will send reports within 15 days to ADGP (L&O) after reviewing all the cases pending investigation and being tried in courts”, Jayalalithaa said, adding that closed-circuit television (CCTV) sets would be installed in all public buildings to identify those troubling women. Police in plainclothes would be deployed at markets and women’s colleges. Also, a helpline for women would be set up. CM said police personnel would be sensitised during their stints at the TN police academy, police recruitment schools and at in-service training centres to treat the victims of abuse with kindness and dignity. She said the government would set up fast-track mahila courts in each district to try rape cases and other crimes against women on day-to-day basis. Not just the judges, even the government advocates in these courts would be women. Besides meeting all the medical and legal expenses of the victims, the government would also take steps to rehabilitate them, she said, adding that every effort would be made to ensure that women feel safe and move about fearlessly in Tamil Nadu.

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