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Sonowal promises tough legislation


GUWAHATI, April 4 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today told the Assembly that the State government would table a tough legislation in the next session to curb the rising crimes against women. The government would also conduct a special recruitment drive for women police sub-inspectors soon.

Replying to a zero hour discussion on the rising cases of crimes against women in the State, Sonowal said the spurt in violence against women, especially incidents of rape, had emerged as a serious concern and that law enforcement apart, society as a whole must rise in unison to combat it.

�We are adopting a zero-tolerance stance against crimes on women. We will be tabling a very tough legislation in the next session so that severe punishment is meted out to those perpetrating crime against women. We also want to ensure that 30 per cent of the police officers in the rank of sub-inspectors are women. A special recruitment drive for women police officers will follow soon,� he said.

Terming the spurt in crimes on women as a social malaise and a big challenge for the government, the Chief Minister said that every aspect for prevention of crime as well as ensuring quick delivery of justice must be taken care of as a matter of urgency.

Sonowal said that following his discussion with the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, the process for setting up fast-track courts was being started. �We are also for expediting police investigations for presentation of strong charge-sheets against the offenders... Police officers handling such cases must also be made accountable,� he said.

Calling for concerted action by society at large for checking crimes against women and to create an enabling environment that can provide security for women, the Chief Minister said that homes in particular � and schools � must play a key role in inculcating good moral values in children.

Earlier, raising the issue of recent spurt in crimes against women through a zero hour notice, BJP legislator Angoorlata Deka termed it as a matter of great concern. Highlighting the recent rape-cum-murder of a minor girl at a place in her constituency Batadroba, Deka said sexual assaults, rapes and other crimes against women have also been reported from other places in the State.

Deka said while there are laws in place, criminals and perpetrators of such heinous crimes always manage to go scot-free. �The law must be enforced in such a way that nobody would dare to indulge in such crimes,� she said, adding, criminals should not be categorized on the basis of religion, community or age.

Congress legislator Nandita Das said the government�s primary responsibility is to provide security to the citizens. She said conviction rates in cases related to crimes against women is very low and �there the system fails.�

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