First 'Disha police station' inaugurated in AP for women's safety
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday inaugurated the first Disha police station in East Godavari district's Rajamahendravaram. The upgraded women police station is aimed at reducing crimes against women and will be equipped with improved infrastructure and staff. This is the first among 18 Disha police stations to be established across the state's 13 districts. Here are more details.
Disha police stations are aimed at delivering speedy justice to female victims of sexual harassment, rape, and offenses under the POCSO Act. "Disha Police Stations will bring down crimes against women in the state," Reddy said at the inauguration, according to The Hindu. The inauguration was previously scheduled on Friday, however, it had to be postponed by a day.
State Deputy Chief Minister and Revenue Minister Pilli Subashchandra Bose, Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharita, Social Welfare Minister Pinipe Viswaroop, and DGP D. Gautam Sawang, were reportedly present at the inauguration along with other ministers, MPs, and MLAs.
The state had previously decided to upgrade its women police stations after the implementation of the Disha Act. Reportedly, the new police station will be armed with mobile kits to collect medical and scientific evidence, and have counselors and caretakers to help victims. Each station will have 52 police personnel including DCPs, 2 CIs, 5 SIs, and constables, The Hans India reported.
DGP Sawang said on Wednesday, "Disha police stations will deal exclusively with women's issues and all their problems will be solved within 21 days from the day of the incident," TNIE reported. He said, "To ensure justice and instill confidence among women, the government brought the Disha Act following which case proceedings will be completed in just 21 days after the incident is reported."
The state government had passed the Disha Act in December to expedite justice in crimes against women. Kritika Shukla and Deepika Patil were appointed Special Officers for the implementation of the Act. State Home Minister Sucharita said Wednesday that the government has already released Rs. 87cr for the implementation of the Act. Another Rs. 25cr has also been sanctioned to establish fast track courts.
CM Reddy is also due to launch the Disha App which will allow women and girls in distress to reach the police. Further, the state has also released Rs. 48 lakh to establish a Disha one-stop center at the Kakinada Government General Hospital (GGH). East Godavari District Collector D Muralidhar Reddy said the one-stop centers will offer all services to victims under one roof.
AP had passed the Disha Act after the gruesome rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in the neighboring state of Telangana on November 27. The victim was gang-raped and murdered. Her charred body was found the next day, sparking massive nationwide uproar. The victim was dubbed "Disha". Four accused arrested in the case were killed in a police encounter on December 6.