Encourage Women To Report Crimes — Nagaland DGP Rupin Sharma - Eastern Mirror
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Encourage women to report crimes — Nagaland DGP Rupin Sharma

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Jun 24, 2023 2:22 am

‘Only desperate cases of violence against women find its way to the police stations’

Seminar on Working of women police station in progress at Rhododendron Hall, Police Complex, in Chümoukedima on Friday. (EM Images)

DIMAPUR — Nagaland state police chief Rupin Sharma on Friday said the perception surrounding women and girls who come forward to report crimes to the police should change; that it should be recognized as an act of courage instead of demeaning them.

Encouraging and supporting women in such acts of courage can bring about significant positive changes in the society, he added.

The Director General of Police (DGP) was speaking during a seminar on ‘Working of Mahila Thana (Women police station)’ at Rhododendron Hall, Police Complex, Chümoukedima on June 23.

While maintaining that sensitisation of people about crime against women is important, he said it is also required to evaluate some methodologies, not only in investigation but also in enhancing the trust of women in the criminal justice system, the law and the police.

Sharma said that there has been a significant increase in the importance given to women’s liberty and rights, as well as the establishment of safeguards against crimes targeting women or crimes committed by women, over the past two decades or so.

While numerous legal provisions have been introduced to safeguard the identity of victims, there is also a pressing need to protect the identity of the complainant in certain cases, particularly when the complainant is a family member, he told the gathering.

Pointing out that none of the Indian states have any mechanism for holding or protecting the identities of victims or complainants, he suggested that allocating codes to the victims or complainants will ensure protection of their identities and urged the police officers to maintain proper records.

Stigmatisation challenge

The DGP said that the stigma attached to victims of crimes in developing countries like India is a huge challenge.

‘Unfortunately, in some societies, crimes against women, particularly during conflicts, were perceived as trophies or symbols of power and this perspective exacerbates the issue, as women often become the primary victims in such situations,’ he lamented.

Pointing out that the prevailing mindset poses a significant challenge, not just among police officers, but also within the broader society, he said there were many cases wherein victims of molestation or rape were unjustly stigmatized and their image tarnished.

There is an urgent need to educate the public about fostering an environment where victims are not judged, shamed or stimatised, but rather supported and understood, he added.

‘Investigation needs to improve 20 times’

The DGP also said that Nagaland police lags behind in crime detection, which includes crime against women.

Reminding the police personnel that their work is not just about stopping crime but also to win the trust and faith of the people, he urged them to be sensitive on various issues.

He said the police department needs to improve efficiency crime investigation 20 times more than the current scenario, while encouraging the gathering to build bridges with the society and to maintain records of crimes against women including non-cognizant crime.

Rupin Sharma
Rupin Sharma addressing the gathering. (EM Images)

Sharma also said investigation is not about proving someone wrong but to arrive at the truth and that it should begin with an open mind about what has happened or reported, especially in crime.

‘Violence against women underreported’

Director, Prodigal Home, K. Ela, told the gathering during the technical session that violence against women being underreported is a well-known fact. She said many cases go unreported altogether and only the most desperate or distressing ones find its way to the police stations for assistance.

She said that women in distress approach police stations on two scenarios- when compelled to seek assistance due to circumstances or the victims muster courage and voluntarily file complaint.

Maintaining that victims find incredibly difficult to approach the police and that, sometimes, they take years to share their traumatic experiences, she urged the gathering to actively encourage and support women in distress who approach police stations.

Instead of questioning or criticising victims for any delays in reporting, provide them support, she said, adding that it will empower victims to seek assistance without the fear of being judged or blamed.

Pointing out that victims often turn to NGOs for help, Ela encouraged the police to adopt a community-friendly approach, fostering a sense of trust and accessibility among the public so that people see police stations as sources of hope, protection, security, and justice.

She also stressed on the importance of maintaining victim’s confidentiality within police stations, saying that lack of it makes individuals feel unsafe and reluctant to file complaint.

Ela also encourage police personnel to acquire basic counseling skills which will help them handle the victims more compassionately and effectively.

ADCP (Women & Juvenile), Dr. Tiamenla Phom; OC Women PS, UBI, Rose Yanthan; Centre Administrator, OSC, Weri-U Mero; and Nodal Officer, DMHP, Dr. Temsuyanger also spoke on various topics during the seminar, which was organised the National Commission for Women (NCW) in collaboration with Nagaland State Commission for Women (NSCW) and Dimapur Police Commissionerate.

Also read: Women Police Station Kohima receives Certificate of Excellence

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Jun 24, 2023 2:22:12 am
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