The newly introduced stringent anti-rape legislation will serve as a deterrent to perpetrators of crimes against women and invite action against them, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Sunday said.
“Last December, we introduced a Bill for violence issues related to women...and this very stringent law will now ensure that offenders will know that their acts could and will invite action on them,” Ms. Kumar said.
The Lok Sabha Speaker was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 48th Raising day celebrations of the Border Security Force (BSF) where she was the chief guest.
She was given a ceremonial salute by the border guards including a special armed contingent of women commandos during the event.
Ms. Kumar, in her address at the BSF camp at Chhawla in south Delhi, also lauded the efforts of bringing women into security forces.
“Women are now breaking male bastions. And, you (BSF) have also changed with changing times...I must thank you for amending your rules to let women also be admitted into the force. This is a sign of a new age,” Ms. Kumar said while addressing BSF men and women.
Border Security Force inducted women in its combat ranks in 2008 and it will induct female officers in operational duties for the first time in 2014.
BSF Director General Subhash Joshi, in his opening address during the function, outlined the charter of duties for the paramilitary in the future.
“The government has now entrusted us with a new responsibility of guarding the 1,643-km-long Indo-Myanmar border. This work is challenging but we will take this new responsibility with due diligence,” Mr. Joshi said.
He said the force, which at present guards Indian frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh, has rendered relief and rescue works during the June flood tragedy in Uttarakhand.
“We have been actively involved in the relief, rescue and rehabilitation work in Uttarakhand. In Rudraprayag, we had to carry out heavy-duty rehabilitation in 12 villages,” Mr. Joshi said.
During the event, Ms. Kumar recalled memories about the border guarding force which was raised on this day in 1965.
“In 1971, my father (Babu Jagjivan Ram) was the Defence Minister, when the Bangladesh Liberation War took place and he would say,’If the Army has a contribution to the war, the role of BSF in it is no less’ He was a great admirer of your bravery and gallantry,” she said.
BSF troopers displayed their skills with a cavalry, canine and ‘Jaanbaz’ bullet motorcycle contingents.
The Lok Sabha Speaker also presented police medals for gallantry and the President’s police medal for distinguished service to the force officials.
Apart from border guarding duties, the 2.4-lakh personnel strong force is also deployed to render internal security duties in insurgency and Naxal violence-hit areas.