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Police to set up helpline for women: Commissioner

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K. Padmakumar.
K. Padmakumar.

G. Anand

Thiruvananthapuram: The police would set up a special cell with a toll free telephone helpline for assisting women in distress, K. Padmakumar, the new City Police Commissioner, told The Hindu .

Women, vulnerable to crimes ranging from sexual harassment to chain-snatching, could contact the cell in times of need. The unit would be adequately staffed and equipped with vehicles. Its response would be immediate and decisive, the Commissioner said.

Workingwomen and girl students form a large segment of the city's population. Many face sexual harassment in public transport vehicles. The victims are generally reluctant to lodge a police complaint. Most prefer to suffer their humiliation in silence. The police would attempt to reverse this trend by visiting workplaces and educational institutions to make women more aware of their rights.

By analysing past cases and intelligence reports, the police have prepared a list of areas, bus stops and routes where women are most likely to be targeted by "eve teasers, stalkers and chain-snatchers." Plainclothesmen and women would be deployed in strength in such places, the Commissioner said.

A permanent traffic diversion scheme, with several alternate plans, would be prepared for ensuring smooth flow of traffic along the M.G. Road during demonstrations and political rallies. A team of traffic policemen would be specifically trained for implementing the scheme at short notice.

The police were resolved to tackle illegal money lending related crime. The City Special Branch has been asked to prepare a police station-wise list of illegal moneylenders in the city.

The police were collecting details of criminal gangs on the pay roll of such persons. Policemen who profit from settling money and property disputes would be blacklisted. Departmental action would be initiated against them on the basis of the evidence available. Corruption would not be tolerated in the force.

The police were collecting the details of two-wheelers registered in the city for randomly verifying the antecedents of owners between the age of 20 and 35 in a bid to check the misuse of such vehicles for criminal purposes.

The functioning of rent-a-car agencies in the city would be strictly monitored. Those operating without Government sanction would be prosecuted. The police would routinely verify registers and logs maintained by such agencies.

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