Bhubaneswar, Feb 1:
Expressing grave concern over the shocking broad daylight gang-rape of a woman by four men near Chilika lake at Balugaon of Ganjam district in November last year, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Saturday asked the state government to implement its recommendations with immediate effect to safeguard the security of the women, especially women tourists, around the lake periphery.
The Commission has also directed the chief secretary to furnish a report on the action taken by the state government on this incident within 10 days.
“It is absolutely shocking how four men could pick up a helpless women and her three-year-old child, from the heart of the Balugaon town adjoining the Chilika lake and brutally rape her one after one in broad daylight in front of her child,” the Commission observed in response to the inquiry report of its two members Manasi Pradhan and Hemlata Kheria, who had visited the state on November 17 for an on-the-spot probe into the incident.
The two-member team, during its visit, recorded the statements of the victim, her parents and other witnesses and reviewed the progress in police investigation.
The team, during its visit, found lack of security measures for the local women and female tourists in the lake periphery, poor healthcare services in the Primary Health Centres and nearby government hospitals to deal with assaults on women and no functional women’s desk or women’s police station in the entire Balugaon and Banapur region.
The team, in its report, recommended to the state government constitution of a special women’s protection force consisting of members of para-military forces and entrust 24-hour patrolling and overall women security in the Chilika tourist circuit consisting of Balugaon and Banpur and Satapada, a functional Intensive Care Unit’ at Banpur Hospital, a women’s police station in Banpur, adequate compensation to the victim, counselling and educational facilities for the victim’s child, appointment of a special public prosecutor and trial of the case in a Fast Track court with immediate effect.
The Commission also asked the state government to table its report in the State Assembly, as per section 10(3) of National Commission for Women Act 1990, during the next Assembly session with a memo explaining the action taken on it.