Bangalore, July 20 :
In the wake of rising crimes against women, especially sexual assaults on girls and minors in the city, police have drafted a set of guidelines for their safety and security in schools across the city, a top official said Sunday.
“Our police officers of deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner ranks are meeting heads of schools in their jurisdiction Monday to issue the guidelines for ensuring safety and security of their students,” Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar said here.
The city of 10 million people has seven zonal police offices with deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners, who are supervised by two joint commissioners and three additional commissioners.
“Enforcing the guidelines will be mandatory as it is the responsibility of all schools to ensure the safety of their wards,” Auradkar told about 5,000 people, including parents, activists, techies and youth, who descended on Freedom Park in the city centre to protest the spurt in crimes against women.
Sharing the concern of the citizens, Auradkar said stringent action would be taken against those who committed the sexual assault on a six-year-old student in a private school early this month (July 2).
“Investigation into the case is at an advanced stage. It is a sensitive case as it involves a child, who is traumatised by the horrifying incident. We are collecting all evidence required as per the new law, amended last year after the Dec 16, 2012 gang rape in New Delhi,” Auradkar said.
Condemning the sexual assault on the minor in a reputed school, the police chief said such heinous crimes were not acceptable by any society and should not have happened in a cosmopolitan city like Bangalore.
“In this hour of crisis, we need your support and cooperation in maintaining harmony in the city. Your actions such as peaceful protests, rallies and demonstrations will put pressure on criminals indulging in rape, murder, abduction, extortion, chain-snatching and eve-teasing,” Auradkar said.
He admitted that a circle inspector in the city diluted the charges in a rape case last week, violating Section 166A of the Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and for which he was suspended and arrested.
Auradkar said police officials at lower ranks were being sensitised and familiarized with the new law and have been instructed to act quickly on complaints filed by women.
“We are also modernizing our communications system to receive, register and respond to complaints through phone, SMS, e-mail, Facebook and Whatsapp by connecting them to our control rooms across the city,” Auradkar said.