People participate in a candle light vigil for better safety of women in the city
The national capital will once again have a dedicated special task force (STF) for women safety and to coordinate with the authorities for the same.
Officials said that the decision to reconstitute the 12-member task force was taken on January 17 after the pursuant to the High Court dated December 21, 2016 which had asked the Lieutenant Governor’s (LG) office whether any special task force (STF) on women’s safety was in place in the national capital.
The task force was established in 2013 following the December 16, 2012 murder and gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in Munirka. It was disbanded last year.
“The task force will comprise of 17 members and the LG of Delhi will be its chairperson. Also, the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) will also be its member. The main aim of the STF will be to review decisions taken by the Delhi Police and other departments regarding women safety in the Capital,” said a Delhi government official.
In 2012, the Nirbhaya rape case bought the issue of women’s safety in Delhi to the centre stage. In response, the then Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had formulated an STF under the Home Secretary. However, the STF was disbanded with the claim that its objective had been fulfilled.
“The STF is important due to the special status of Delhi wherein the Delhi Police which is the key link for the safety of women in the city is under the central government. Despite this dichotomy, there was no common platform where the state government, the central government and the police could come together to meet and take key decisions on the issues related to women’s safety in Delhi, leading to the prevailing situation,” said Swati Maliwal, DCW chief.
Maliwal added that along with this STF, there should also be a high level committee on women’s security which should have representatives not only from Delhi Police and the DCW, but also people’s representatives from the Central government and the Delhi government.