New Delhi, Jan 4: Waking up to the fact that women comprised just 3.98 per cent of the country's total police force, the Centre today asked all state governments to increase the number of women in police forces to 33 per cent.
Saying an environment must be created for women and weaker sections to visit a police station without difficulty, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said, "if there is women police, women complainants will feel more secure, comfortable in visiting a police station. We think 33 per cent civil police -- constables and sub-inspectors should be women."
Addressing a conference of chief secretaries and DGPs of states, he said, "we have suggested to the Delhi Police to increase the number of women personnel and we suggest you all to do the needful to achieve this target."
The conference was convened in the wake of the brutal gangrape and assault of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi. Singh said an atmosphere should be created where women and weaker sections of the society get the ability to launch a complaint without facing difficulty. He said in cases like molestation, the very thought of going through the ordeal to brief the policemen about the incident dissuade many to go to a police station and that has to be changed.
"It is high time, as a country, we have to woke up. Our inability to protect women and weaker sections of the society is a huge, huge problem," he said.
The Home Secretary said investigation of any case has to be time-bound and according to CrPC, it has to be completed in 3 months.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said that there is lack of training and sensitisation of police in dealing with crimes against women. "It is unacceptable that women in our societies live in fear. The responsibility lies with the government," he said in New Delhi after the conference.
He also said that while tougher laws are needed as a deterrent against crimes against women, the main problem is that existing laws are not implemented. He said that all suggestions sent by political parties would be considered by the government in drafting a new anti-rape law.
At today's meeting, Minister for Women and Child Welfare Krishna Tirath said that rapes must be punishable by death in rarest of rare cases and that chemical castration, suggested by some other leaders, is not practical because it requires constant monitoring.