Mega cities haven for criminals, says parliamentary panel

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Despite a modern police apparatus, mega cities in India are turning into safe havens for criminals, a parliamentary panel has said.

The Committee on Empowerment of Women suggested that there is a need for sincere effort to overhaul the “tattered policing system” in the country with an aim of giving it a human face.

Even now the spate of crimes against women in mega cities has not been contained and cases of rape, molestation, abduction of women and children etc have become a “daily, shameful affair”, said a report of the panel headed by Rajkumari Ratna Singh.

It urged the government to set up an expert group to study the challenges faced in the form of increasing crime against women and children in mega cities and suggest “practical solutions” in tune with the needs of 21st century.

“The Committee are apprehensive that if effective measures are not initiated in the right earnest, all these mega cities would become a dangerous place for women and children,” it said.

The 74-page report, tabled in the just concluded budget session of Parliament, said noted that 33,789 cases of crime against women were reported from 53 mega cities with over 10 lakh population in 2011 as compared to 24,335 in 2010.

It said Delhi topped the list of the cities accounting for 13.3 percent cases followed by Bangalore, Hyderabad and Vijayawada. The committee was “astonished” to note that Delhi accounted for 17.6 percent of rape cases, 31.8 percent of kidnapping cases and 14 percent of dowry deaths.

“All these statistical inputs explicitly point out to the fact that all the mega cities in the country, which are equipped with relatively modern police apparatus, are being transformed as safe haven for criminals and anti-social elements who have scant regard for laws, law enforcement agencies and legal system,” the panel said.

Referring to the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape of the young girl in a moving bus in south Delhi, the panel said the mega cities received a “further shock” and the incident put the concept of modern policing and the concept of safety of women in “complete jeopardy”.

The panel also expressed concern at the government for the proposed move to merge Swadhar and Short Stay Homes schemes saying that it was aimed at “camouflaging” administration’s failure in executing it.

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