Chhaya Sharma, the cop who cracked the 2012 Nirbhaya case in Delhi, says that constant attention and monitoring is needed in rape cases to ensure that due process of law is followed. She, in conversation with IANS, said that gender sensitivity has increased in dealing with such cases, but there’s a constant need for monitoring.

She also said that after the 2012 case, there has been more sensitivity towards cases related to crime against women and those under POCSO.

Key Highlights:

  • Chhaya Sharma is the cop who helped crack the Nirbhaya case in 2012, which initially, was a blind case.
  • She calls for continuous monitoring in rape cases to ensure that due process is followed.
  • She says that after the 2012 case, both police’s, as well as society’s reaction, has changed towards crimes against women. 
  • She is now the Deputy Inspector General, Investigation, at the National Human Rights Commission.

Seven Years Since The Rape-Cum-Murder Case That Shook The Nation

It’s been seven years since the horrifying case took place in Delhi, which shook the entire nation. Sharma, who helped crack the case back in 2012 is now Deputy Inspector General, Investigation, at the National Human Rights Commission. She says that the crime investigation personally affected her in spite of having witnessed a number of crimes before. “Being a blind case, this case was tough to crack from the very beginning. The case was important for me both personally and professionally because it put to test all my professional knowledge, field experience, personnel management and leadership skills to test,” said Sharma who was also the central character on a recent web series focussing on the case.

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“It also made me believe staunchly in a quote that says, ‘The trouble is, you think you have time!’’ While guiding my team, I would continuously remind them of the race against time and inspire them to apprehend the perpetrators despite all odds,” she says while remembering how the case appeared blind and her team had to race against time to find the six unknown accused. The number of accused and the white bus were the only starting point available at that point in time.

After the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case, the biggest change that occurred is the police’s reaction towards crimes against women. “This was mainly due to the widespread public outcry which led to the amendments in laws leading to a number of petty crimes like voyeurism, stalking, etc. becoming offenses under sexual assault and harassment hitherto only covered vaguely by section 354 of Indian Penal Code,”

Biggest Change Post-2012 Is Police’s Reaction To Rape Cases

After the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case, the biggest change that occurred is the police’s reaction towards crimes against women. “This was mainly due to the widespread public outcry which led to the amendments in laws leading to a number of petty crimes like voyeurism, stalking, etc. becoming offenses under sexual assault and harassment hitherto only covered vaguely by section 354 of Indian Penal Code,” she told IANS.

“In public, the change has been of increased reporting by women and support from their families. The public, on its part, generally became more open to coming to the police for help against serious as well as petty offenses rather than becoming mute spectators. Families, who were hitherto unsure, had now begun to support women in making complaints to police and seeking justice rather than becoming mute spectators of crime,” she added.

She also said that after the 2012 case, there has been more sensitivity towards cases related to crime against women and those under POCSO. Sharma was recently awarded by McCain Institute of International Leadership Award at the Arizona State University.

Picture Credit: Scoop Whoop

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