Ministry of Home Affairs for the first time has stood up to lend focused approach to tackle crime against women. In this regard, MHA has set up a separate division to deal with issues of women’s safety in coordination with relevant ministries, departments and state governments on Friday.

To head this division, the ministry has appointed a 1993 batch AGMUT cadre officer, Punya Salila Srivastava, as Joint Secretary. The division will encompass matters related to crimes against women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes; crimes against children and elderly persons. It will also have an anti-trafficking cell, issues dealing with prison legislation and prison reforms. The women’s safety division will look into Nirbhaya Fund, Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network System and National Crime Records Bureau as well.

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“In order to address offences against women, particularly rape, in a holistic and time-bound manner, the new division would focus to enhance capacity of the existing administrative, investigative, prosecution and judicial machinery, along with appropriate measures for rehabilitation of victims and bringing attitudinal changes in society,” a Home Ministry statement said, Zee News reported.

The current list of initiatives include setting up of special Fast Track Courts (FTCs), strengthening of forensic setup and building up of a national registry of sexual offenders, appointing additional public prosecutors and providing appropriate medical and rehabilitation facilities to victims.

The decision to set up a women’s safety division in the Ministry of Home Affairs came after the infamous Kathua and Unnao rape cases that enraged the entire country and criticism poured in from international platforms as well.

The state also said that this division will work towards the national mission for women’s safety, with the participation of stakeholder ministries and departments, who will shoulder specified actions in a time-bound manner.

The current list of initiatives include setting up of special Fast Track Courts (FTCs), strengthening of forensic setup and building up of a national registry of sexual offenders, appointing additional public prosecutors and providing appropriate medical and rehabilitation facilities to victims.

They will also address issues like sensitization of children through appropriate changes in school curriculum, a media campaign for raising awareness, checking proliferation of pornography materials and online contents.

Picture credit:  Reuters

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