Manmohan asks police chiefs to ensure women’s safety

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New Delhi, November 23:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday stressed the need to put in place institutional mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of women and children.

Referring to the rape and murder of a girl here in December last, he said it not only brought into sharp focus the issue of women’s safety but also the rising expectations of people from the police to prevent such crimes.

“We have recently enacted several laws providing stringent punishment for such crimes and more sensitive treatment of victims during investigation and trial,’’ he told top police officers of the country. He asked the State police chiefs to show leadership in ensuring women’s safety and in preventing crimes against women.

The Prime Minister’s comments at the concluding session of the three-day annual conference of the Directors-General of Police (DGPs), organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), come amid the raging controversy involving Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal over his alleged sexual assault of a woman journalist working for the magazine.

Turning to challenges posed to internal security by terrorism, Dr. Singh sounded a note of caution, asking the police forces to remain “scrupulously non-partisan’’ while dealing with terror cases so that “our people do not lose faith in the professionalism of investigative agencies and the secular nature of country’s polity.’’

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