Instances of crimes against women are higher in some areas in the capital, Delhi Police informed the Delhi high court on Wednesday through a sealed report.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul expressed concern over the report on crime mapping which showed that some “pockets” in the city are more prone to such crimes. These are also places that have witnessed rapid urbanization, HC noted.
“These areas should be regarded as those where immediate action like increased policing, gender sensitization drives, public awareness campaigns should be initiated,” the bench observed, saying there is little point in having “a gender sensitization drive in Mandir Marg or Tilak Marg where no such crimes take place.”
The court stressed that a “rifled approach” is required to tackle the issue of crimes against women, particularly now when crime-mapping data is available. “Have a rifled approach.
You have these areas in sight. Increased policing in these areas can be effective. If you police, eve-teasing, molestation and rapes will go down,” the bench pointed out.
The charts and tables filed by police, HC noted, show that crimes against women are confined to “semi-urban and semi-rural areas”. Central Delhi and rural areas are free from such instances. “A sociologist should go there and examine the reason for this,” the court remarked, saying there are many other urbanized villages as well but such crimes do not occur there. It also advised Delhi Police to “carry out a sociological study to understand why such crimes occur in these areas.”
HC also opined that the reason for such crimes in these areas could be that policing has not been able to keep pace with the way the city has expanded “exploded” and also rapid urbanization.
The court, while giving Delhi Police time till May 21, asked them to file a status report “indicating the measures taken after crime-mapping was done and the measures proposed to bring reduce instances of such crimes.”
Mapping of crime-prone areas as an exercise was conducted by police on the orders of the court. The court was, at the time, hearing a PIL filed by one Nandita Dhar, through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, alleging that instances of eve-teasing in Delhi had increased by over 700% in 2013. The plea urged that the Centre and Delhi government must be directed to implement the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court to prevent the commission of offences.
On February 20, while asking Delhi Police to inform it about areas where eve-teasing occurs, the court had observed that women in the capital “feel unsafe” and that the issue of their safety still bore a “question mark”.
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