Online petition to Prime Minister calls for police reforms

The public outrage over the gang-rape of a physiotherapy student in December last not only led to civil society protests in the Capital but also gave rise to several social media campaigns demanding long-due changes in the system. While demanding justice in all cases of violence against women, few protesters have tried to deal with one of the basic reasons for the failure of the system and created an online petition addressed to the Prime Minister asking for police reforms.

The petition titled “Reform Police, Reform Nation” also talks about “strong punishment” for the juvenile accused in the case.

“On December 16, 2012, a brutal incident happened on the streets of India that took away an innocent life, leaving us with a bundle of questions. This incident is a reflection of the failure of the system, the police force and society. It shook Indians such that they came out on the roads showing zero tolerance… Progress: 45 rape cases in Delhi since and 75 molestation cases. The number is increasing every day,” says the online petition.

Talking about the Supreme Court’s direction to the Centre and State Governments to “make seven major changes in the existing police which would involve restructuring, training, sensitization, accountability etc. at various levels to ensure proper functioning of the department as a whole”, the petition asks the Prime Minister to get the reforms implemented as soon as possible.

Arguing against any “blanket immunity” to the accused below the age of 18 years, the petition says: “In order to protect the childhood of these juvenile offenders, the 2000 Juvenile Justice Act provided blanket immunity to persons below the age of 18 years. But such blanket immunity has failed to serve its purpose. The three-year reformative period at a juvenile home has in fact emboldened the teenage criminals. In 2000, 198 cases of rapes and in 2011 as many as 1,149 cases of rapes committed by juveniles were reported,” concludes the petition.

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