“What happened in Lajpat Nagar case is shocking”

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who had in the wake of the December 16 gang-rape in the Capital taken on the Delhi Police over the issue of failure to provide security to women, raised the heckles of the Centrally administered police force all over again on Wednesday by stating that still “women don’t feel safe in Delhi”.

Her statement, coming nearly 50 days after the gruesome assault on a 23-year-old woman, showed that little has changed on the ground as far as safety and security of women goes.

Asked for her reaction to another brutal assault on a girl this week, this time at Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi where a man allegedly thrust an iron rod into the victim’s mouth while attempting to rape her, Ms. Dikshit responded: “There is no feeling of security. What happened in Lajpat Nagar on Tuesday is shocking and has raised our worries.”

The accused in this case, an electrician, was subsequently arrested. The girl, who sustained serious injuries, is recuperating in a private hospital.

Ms. Dikshit’s bold remarks shocked many as only on Tuesday, while addressing a meeting on safety of women, she had spelt out steps taken by her government to improve the overall security scenario.On Wednesday she noted that while the belief of the police being there existed, “there is no satisfaction about security, which should be there”.

She reiterated that her government would try to create an atmosphere that would assure women of safety and security.

Apart from urging the Union Home Ministry last December to change the top police leadership, the Delhi Government recently has also accused the Delhi Police of not doing enough and deviating from its main responsibilities.

The Delhi Government had also accused the police of trivialising the issue through their approach. Incidentally, following the gang-rape and the public outrage, the Delhi Police had stepped up picketing in large parts of the city. At many places, the pickets were set up on arterial roads and the barricades remained in place even when there were no personnel to man them.

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