Stepping up measures for women’s safety in the wake of the recent gang-rape in Delhi, the State government on Thursday announced several initiatives, including the launch of a dedicated helpline for Bangalore city.

Women in distress and those facing threat of attack, including molestation, could call on the toll free phone number 1091.

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, who also holds the Home and Transport portfolios, said that the helpline in Bangalore would work 24 x 7. The State police would operate the helpline and register sexual abuse complaints from women. The police would be rushed to the spot for providing protection to women, he said.

“Call the helpline number 1091 if you feel intimidated by strangers. The helpline will intimate the Hoysala patrol and you will receive assistance,” he promised. A special squad would be created to address exclusive issues of security and safety, he said.

Mr. Ashok said that the police would map isolated places on campuses of universities and the outskirts and step up Hoysala patrolling. As many as 110 Hoysala vehicles and 367 Cheetah squads would patrol the city round the clock, he said.

Colleges

Special bandobust will be made near all schools and colleges within Bangalore police limits to prevent eve-teasing and action will be taken against habitual eve-teasers.

CCTVs would be installed in public places in the city, he said while releasing a brochure, “Your Protection Our Responsibility”.

Another guideline manual has been issued specifying dos and don’ts for the public at large. One lakh copies of the manual will be printed and distributed to people in public places such as bus stands and railway stations. They would also be pasted on walls in public places, he said.

Hostels

The government has mandated all women hostels and women paying guest accommodations to register with the police. Action would be taken against owners of paying guest accommodations who decline to provide details to the police, he warned.

A high-level committee comprising senior officers of Home and Law Ministries would be constituted to look into pending sexual harassment and assault cases and ensure quick justice to the aggrieved.

Severe action would be taken against police officers refusing to register cases and also for showing laxity in solving cases. All cases involving rapes would be registered in a time frame, he said.

Mr. Ashok advised elderly women not to open the door for strangers when they are alone at home and receive post/courier through windows.

Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau and Bangalore Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji attended the press conference.

Meanwhile, voicing concern over rape incidents, Energy Minister Shoba Karandlaje has urged the government to amend laws to provide for stringent punishment, including surgical castration, to perpetrators of crime against women.

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