Expressing concern over the recent sexual assault cases, the National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued notices to the Centre, States and Union Territories seeking reports on the standard operating procedure (SOP) for dealing with such cases and the use of the Nirbhaya Fund. The NHRC has asked the governments to respond in six weeks.
Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the NHRC observed that there was a “dire need for all stakeholders to work jointly to get rid of this evil.” The commission’s action comes in the wake of the gang rape and murder of a doctor in Hyderabad that has spurred a debate on the condition of women’s security in the country once again.
Issuing the notices, the commission said the “largest democracy of the world, which has adopted the longest written Constitution and has a rich cultural heritage of gender equality, is today being criticised for having the most unsafe environment for women.”
The NHRC said these cases were violations of the victims’ human rights.
“There have been constitutional and statutory provisions to ensure that women are not subjected to any kind of discrimination and harassment but there is an alarming trend indicating that things are getting worse, amounting to violation of right to life, liberty, dignity and equality of women across the country,” it said.
Citing the Hyderabad case, the gang-rape of a law student in Ranchi and the strangulation of a 6-year-old in Rajasthan, the NHRC noted that these incidents indicate that laws and funds alone can’t change much unless police officers’ attitudes also change.