Bengal to get 10 more women police stations

10 more women police stations are coming up in West Bengal besides the existing 20.

The West Bengal Chief Minister had targeted to set up 65 such police stations across the State.  The government has approved the establishment of 330 posts under various categories for the new police stations. A woman police officer will head each of these police stations and majority of the other ranks will constitute of women also.

In the first phase 20 women police stations were set up at Howrah, Barasat, Baruipur, Asansol, Jhargram, Contai, Chinsurah, Krishnanagar, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri Sadar, sub-divisional headquarters of Burdwan Sadar, Medinipur Sadar, Purulia Sadar, Bankura Sadar, Darjeeling Sadar, Sreerampore (Hooghly), Suri (Birbhum), English Bazar (Malda), Diamond Harbour (South 24-Parganas) and Barrackpore (North 24-Parganas) have got such stations. Now, 10 new stations have opened at Bidhannagar and Durgapur Commissionerate, Cooch Behar, Balurghat, Raiganj, Berhampore, Kharagpur, Haldia, Uluberia and Arambag.  With these new stations the total number of all women police stations has reached to 30.

WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee has been working relentlessly for the safety of women across the State. It was her idea to have all women police stations in the state to combat women related crimes. In a police station where women will not only feel free and safe to report criminal cases against them, but where such cases will also be dealt with immense sensitivity and compassion.

In another innovative step, the West Bengal Government is launching a special police cell to deal with highway accidents. This cell will be known as ‘Highway Traffic Police’. Along with investigating accident cases on highways, they will also take prompt action so that accident victims get immediate medical attention and effective rescue missions.


Ratna De Nag speaks on atrocities on women in India | Transcript

Sir, the issue of violence against women has been receiving increasing concern in recent years. There is a growing recognition that nations cannot achieve their full potential as long as women’s right to participate fully in their society is denied. Gender based violence not only violates human rights but also restricts economic growth and undermines development. It can only be eliminated by addressing discrimination and promoting women’s equality and empowerment. Here, I would like to mention something about my State, West Bengal. My Chief Minister Kumari Mamata Banerjee is trying to empower women with limited resources. For example, she has introduced Kanyashree scheme to help the girl child to study. She has taken steps for establishment of women police stations in different districts, set up hostels for girl children and taken steps for 30 per cent reservation for women candidates in Lok Sabha. After consultation with banks, she was able to increase the loans for self-help groups. The principle of gender equality and women’s rights are enshrined in our Constitution. The Constitution not only grants equality to women but also advocates positive discrimination in their favour.

310 Women constitute nearly half of the country’s total population as per the 2011 census. The Delhi gang rape of December 2012 outraged the nation. What irks me most is the people behind this heinous crime are yet to get punishment. Justice delayed is justice denied. We have to see that fast track courts are really fast in dispensing justice. There is a need to plug all loopholes so that we punish the culprits as early as possible.

Since then, unfortunately, more and more atrocities against women were reported from different parts of the country, recent being the Meerut gang rape. What is stopping the Central Government from setting up more special courts or fast track courts to try these atrocities against women? It is of interest to know that the fast track courts were first thought of by the 11th Finance Commission for 2000-05, as an ad hoc institution to address the urgent problem of backlog of atrocities. We cannot take the issue of growing incidents of atrocities against women as a global phenomenon. There is an urgent need to address the problems being faced by women and girls, who are subject to physical and sexual abuse, psychological and economic abuse, and all sorts of assaults also. Widespread and harmful traditional practices including early and forced marriages within the community-setting, feticide and trafficking in women are receiving interesting attention. I say so because these unsavoury developments in their lives at such an early stage would leave an indelible impact as they grow and their attitudes towards life it changes. It is disturbing to any right-thinking person to know that in India, every 26 minutes a woman is molested; every 34 minutes, a rape takes place; every 42 minutes, a sexual harassment incident occurs; every 43 minutes, a woman is kidnapped; every 93 minutes, a woman is burnt to death over dowry, but last not least, one-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 years. India has the largest young population – 42 per cent are below the age of 18 years. Of late, sexual harassment of school children has come as a great shock.

311 Bangalore school children plight is gruesome. But this is not an isolated incident. We often come across the exploitation of children in juvenile homes and orphanages. These orphanages and juvenile homes should be monitored with the intention of ensuring safety and security of children. These homes should not become a den for sexual harassment of children. There are no dearth of laws, Acts, procedures, rules and regulations.

But the problem is about its implementation. Proper measures should be put in place to see that all the laws and Acts related to women and children should be implemented in letter and spirit and justice is delivered to them in time. With 62 MPs in this 16th Lok Sabha and with the 73rd and the 74th Amendments to the Constitution of India, women have reservation of seats in the local bodies in Panchayats and Municipalities; and we have been demanding 33 per cent reservation for women. India is surging ahead in every conceivable field and we come across incidents of atrocities against women.

This is really a tragedy of the worst kind. Violence against women and children requires a comprehensive and systemic response by all the stakeholders.

Men have a role, especially in preventing violence and this role needs to be further explored and strengthened. Work to end violence against women requires not only a clear demonstration of political commitment but also systemic and sustained action backed by strong, dedicated and permanent institutional mechanism. The Government should take the responsibility for the systemic collection and publication of data, supporting NGOs, academics or others engaged in such activities. Only legislations and law-enforcement agencies cannot prevent the incidence of violence against women. There is an urgent need for social awakening and changing attitude of the society to give due respect and equal status to women.

In this regard, all stakeholders should come forward to forge an alliance to defend the rights of women and children. At last, I live with the hope of seeing a day and time when women will lead a life of dignity and honour in this great country of ours without having to face any type of atrocity whatsoever and every child enjoys life to the fullest by playing, learning and living with all the love and affection showered on him. This is not going to be a dream. It would become a reality provided we all strive together and everyone in the society contribute to these cherished goals towards our women and children. Thank you.

Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar speaks on the atrocities on women | Transcript

Thank you Chairman Sir. As I stand in this citadel of democracy and justice today, I make an appeal to the collective consciousness of our nation to respect womanhood. Women when they are in utero – stop feticide. Women who are less than one year of age – stop infanticide, women when they are in their youth – prevent maternal mortality, prevent rape on them, prevent domestic violence on them, prevent harassment, sexual harassment on them in their workplaces, harassment on them on the road, harassment everywhere. I appeal to the collective consciousness of this nation also Sir, to respect women at every aspect of their lives. Had Agatha Christie been around she would have written a book ‘Mystery of the missing girls’.

It is really shocking sometimes – in dismay and disbelieve I pinch myself – do I breath the same air as men do, and do I tread the glades as men do in this country because I am still alive. Women are not allowed to be born in this country. The United Nations have sounded an alarm, they have declared emergency on India. The Assistant Secretary General of United Nations has said that “the sharply declining the child sex ratio in India has reached an emergency proportion and urgent action has to be taken”. The deteriorating ratio of 977 girls to 1000 boys in 1961 stands today at 918 only in the country and Delhi is no better; it is only in the 800s. In Punjab today it is 846 per 1000 men, and also 834 in Haryana. It is really shocking that a little child, a little girl sleeping peacefully in her mother’s womb, is murdered by doctors. These erring doctors should be sent to the jail and if found to be guilty they should really be hanged, I agree completely with my sister here who was speaking about it.

The sex ratio and the gender-biased sex selection has really reached such an extent, the falling numbers can be attributed to many reasons which include dowry as already discussed and it is tragically ironic that the one who creates life – that is the mother – is not allowed to be born, or not allowed to live, because even after being born, out of the 12 million girl children born every year in the country, one million don’t reach their first birthday. They are killed even before they reach one year of their age.

Our State Government has taken positive steps towards this. Our hon. Chief Minister Smt Mamata Banerjee has respected the reservation for women in the highest body of Lok Sabha by fielding nearly 30% candidates and here we are nearly 32% of our elected Lok Sabha Members are women. I am proud of her, I am proud of my party. She has also started the Kanyashree scheme; she is helping the girl children to study. The Kanyashree II scheme says at the age of 18 if she remains unmarried and studying she is getting Rs 25000. It not only addresses the issue of education, it not only addresses the issue of empowerment because at the age of 18, if she is unmarried, that clause, she remains to become a healthy mother and a healthy child is born and that addresses the issue of millennium development goal fine, where she is not killed during child birth.

The hon. Chief Minister started girls’ hostel in the state, she has recruited women police, and she started courts to treat women’s issues. So I would again request that we have enough laws, today’s motion was the need to have stringent legislation to check increasing atrocities against women and children in the country. But we have laws, we have laws against domestic violence, we have laws against sexual harassment; we have the Vishakha judgment and guidelines. It is not stopping the happenings that are taking place here. I would like to request this august House that we have to sensitize our citizens, men and women equally. Women are equally to blame; they should have enough courage to stand on their feet and fight the world and then live and let live. Though there are stringent laws, implementation has to be stricter, vigilance has to be kept, rape rehabilitation has to be given a very strict thought and the awareness created. I am sorry to say this Government has only Rs 100 crore in the budget for awareness, it is not enough. The citizens have to be made aware, that women should be respected. They are half our total population. Though they are doing 85% of the work in the country, they hold only 15% of the assets in the country.

We are three sisters, Mr Chairman Sir. When someone would ask my father aren’t you sad you have only three daughters, he would say, they are my sun, they are my moon, they are my words, they are my tune, they are my future, they are my assets. I know of another lady member of the house who is a single child whose father feels the same way. We need more fathers this way. Fathers who will be proud of their girl child, bring them up properly, give them education so that they are empowered.

Our scriptures do not have contradictory vision otherwise we would not have seen Draupadi in such an empowered position. Our country has had many women who have led the nation to war. This is the best of time because we have the legislation and this is also the worst of times because we have the Nirbhaya cases. It is also an era of regression because we have the khap panchayats, because we have honour killings; a girl cannot love on her own and she is killed because of the decision taken by elders. This has to be done away with. Hon. Minister is here, I would request the honour killings must stop. This is an age of resilience because we have women here who are speaking against this social evil.

I would request an awareness be created in the homes because we know more than 97% of the cases are inside the house; it is either the father, very sadly, it is the uncle, it is the cousin, it is the brother, it is somebody in the house who is raping the girl and when the girl is really ashamed to talk about it in the public this gentleman gets so much of encouragement that he goes out and does it to other people. So the domestic violence and what is happening inside the house should be looked at. It is not possible to have surveillance cameras inside the homes; we need a change of mindset.

I would request that proper implementation of the legislation be done and also everywhere advertisement should be put; Doordarshan reaches far and wide, the radio reaches far and wide, talks should be given on this issue so that people can hear and start respecting women as they should be.

Thank you.