Is Mumbai, one of India’s safest cities for women, safe no more? The recent unspeakably horrific rape and assault incident of a 34-year-old woman in India’s financial capital has shaken the entire nation. India’s ‘maximum city’ that has consistently been ranked as one of the safest cities in India is now under the scanner for its safety provisions and measures to prevent such heinous crimes of brutality in future.
The crime, which took place in suburban Sakinaka, bears a shocking and unfortunate resemblance to the 2012 ‘Nirbhaya’ rape case. The woman who was raped, assaulted with an iron rod, and stabbed with a knife inside a stationary auto in Mumbai, died in the hospital 36 hours after the incident.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has slammed the government for not doing enough to ensure the safety of women in Maharashtra. NCW member, Chandramukhi Devi, condemned the Mumbai Police commissioner’s statement on the inability of the police to be present at every crime location. “The crime is a result of the absence of fear in the minds of the criminals regarding the policy machinery,” she said in a recent interview.
In the aftermath, Mumbai Police has decided to implement certain measures in the city to ensure the safety of women. As reported by India Today, Commissioner Hemant Nagrale has issued a circular to every police station in the city listing down these measures.
Mumbai Police chief has proposed the following measures to ensure better security for women.
• All police stations in Mumbai have been asked to prepare a list of sexual offenders living or working in their respective jurisdictions at the earliest.
• Preventive measures are to be taken against those accused in cases of atrocities against women and minors.
• Every police station has to identify deserted stretches in their jurisdiction, and patrolling should be maximised in these locations along with the installation of proper lighting and CCTV cameras.
• Police must also put up QR codes at these secluded spots to ensure patrolling and prevent any such incidents in future.
• All calls to the control room or police station regarding crimes against women must be attended to immediately and receive special attention from the control room officer.
• A mobile police van must be stationed at police stations, under whose jurisdiction railway stations and bus depots are located, between 10 pm and 7 am. Officers in these vans will help women travelling alone to reach their destinations, must provide them with the means of transport, and note down details of the driver and the vehicle transporting the women.
• Mobile police vans to be deployed where women's washrooms are located. Such areas are to be patrolled at regular intervals.
• Owners of abandoned vehicles like tempos, trucks, and pick-up vans in the city must be located. If owners are not found, such vehicles are to be seized and impounded.
Meanwhile, ACP Jyotsna Rasam is leading the special investigation team to ensure swift justice for the Sakinaka case victim’s family within a month.