17 groups call for speedy justice
A STAFF REPORTER
July 19: Seventeen city-based organisations have joined hands to prod the government into ensuring speedy justice for the July 9 molestation victim.
While submitting a memorandum to chief minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday, the organisations also demanded special gender-sensitive training for police personnel and amendments to the laws governing rape and molestation charges to ensure severe punishment for the perpetrators.
“Instances of molestation keep happening, and the guilty more often than not go unpunished because of weak laws. The country’s existing law defines rape as an act of forced sexual intercourse, but sexual assault can be committed in many ways and this law should be amended to cover all aspects. Only then will a victim get justice and the guilty be severely punished at all costs. In the recent case, many of the accused are still moving scot-free. The state government should make sure that the case is handled in a sensitive manner and all guilty punished so that people think twice before harming the dignity of women in this manner,” Monisha Behl, chairperson of North East Network, one of the organisations, told this correspondent today.
The organisations also demanded that the district administration should focus on making all public places in the city safe for women through adequate policing as well as immediate response to the call of a woman who may be in distress.
“Molestation and rape are human rights issues and they can be handled by men as well as women. Since the police frequently deal with such crimes, both men and women police personnel should be sensitised on gender issues so that they know how to question and handle a victim. Many times, the manner in which the police question a victim makes her feel humiliated and she hesitates to go forward with the legal process. Gender sensitisation will also help them to deal with a woman who may be accused of committing some other crime,” Sheetal Sarma, a member of North East Network, said.
“Until the state government sends out a clear message to the public that such crimes will not be tolerated under any circumstances, people will keep committing them. We had even approached the chief minister and he assured us that he would do the needful to bring the guilty to book and make the state safe for women,” Sarma said.
Another Delhi-based organisation, the Citizens’ Collective against Sexual Assault (CCSA), also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, demanding justice for the GS Road molestation victim.
They urged the government to follow the legal procedure in all cases of violence against women without violating their basic right to privacy and non-disclosure of their identity.
Original Story: 17 groups call for speedy justice