The Assam government on Monday, December 19, informed the state assembly that it has developed a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to reduce crimes against women and female child.
On the first day of the winter session, state women and child development minister Ajanta Neog stated that additional measures are being taken in this regard in response to a question posed by opposition leader Debabrata Saikia.
“This is the first time such a SOP has been prepared by the state government. This was done after a lot of consultations with stakeholders and a 14-day training session. It was notified last month,” said Neog.
She said that the SOP has been prepared with the approval from home and health departments as well as the Assam State Legal Services Authority (ASLSA). Neog stated that 11 special women cells have been formed in 11 districts of the state to deal with crimes related to women and girl children.
The minister stated that the departments of home and women and child development have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to establish additional such cells and provide them with the necessary training and expertise.
“As a pilot project, students of a few schools and colleges in Kamrup and Dhemaji districts have been provided with martial arts training to defend themselves from attackers. Such trainings would be carried out in all districts in a phased manner,” Neog stated.
She added that 2,665 cases have been transferred to 18 fast track courts that have been established in 13 districts to handle cases involving crimes against women and girl children.
“Reports by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in past five years show that crimes against women have been increasing in Assam. In 2020, the number of such crimes was around 21,000 while it rose to nearly 26,000 last year,” said leader of Opposition, Debabrata Saikia.
“We want the state government to set up women help desks in all police stations and fast track courts in all districts. Similarly martial arts training should be provided in all schools and colleges,” he added.
For the past five years, Assam has had the highest rate of crime against women in India, according to the NCRB. Last year, Assam had a crime rate of 168.3, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 64.5. With 147.6, Delhi, which is thought to be the most dangerous place for women, came in second, followed by Odisha with 137.8.
The crime rate is the total number of crimes committed per 100,000 people. The number of crimes committed against women in Assam was 143.3 in 2017, 166 in 2018, 177 in 2019, and 154.3 in 2017.
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