The Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, in an open letter, said better parenting, education and strengthening the beat police system could help stop crimes against women
Stressing the need to address the root cause of sexual assaults on women in the country, Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Monday said better parenting, education, and strengthening the beat system of policing with an eye to identifying perpetrators would stop heinous crimes against women.
In an open letter, India’s first woman IPS officer said “the root of the problem is absence of better parenting and school education. I have conversed with several accused during my responsibility as a serving police officer, later as in-charge of prison administration, along side running family counselling centres from my NGOs, my learnt answer is that the delinquents are a product of family neglect and bad habits.”
Many of them are school drop-outs. Parents and teachers have either given up on them or let them go off early, Ms. Bedi said. Parents should not hesitate to enquire about the whereabouts of their children, she added. An unattended child can become a potential perpetrator, she said adding that the family and school have to shoulder the responsibility of refining the delinquent before he indulges in any misadventure.
The police system has also failed to track such persons and drop-outs to identify them early so that they do not turn into ruffians in the locality, the Lt Governor said. “The community too have either become indifferent or give up out of fear of being retaliated. Which is why effective beat police system has to be put in place. It means police officers in-charge of specified area should form liaison groups with community, schools, and neighbourhood watch groups and panchayats for community policing,” she said.
Ms. Bedi, a stern advocate of beat policing, said the government has to invest more in effective grass-roots policing. Increased mobile policing can only help in attending emergency calls, she added. Beat officers should be made accountable in the monitoring of criminals coming out on bail or after serving their sentence, the Lt. Governor said.
“Unless sexual assaults against women also assume the same gravity and collective anguish, we shall continue having women in India stalked and situationally ravaged. Even the media is running out of space and time to focus on which one to highlight. It’s a terrible environment to live in, when we know for sure what can be done with a sense of collective urgency,” said Ms. Bedi.