Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 14
In order to ensure the safety and security of women and girls in society, Amritsar city police on Tuesday launched Shakti teams, which would work as decoy teams in public places, besides launching Women Safety Officers’ teams.
Though instances of eve-teasing and harassment have taken place in society, only a fraction of the actual number of cases is reported to the police.
“The main objective of the formation of Shakti teams is to address this problem,” said Police Commissioner Vikram Jeet Duggal while talking to this correspondent.
As per the figures procured from the police department, only three cases under Section 509 (insulting by taunting, commenting, gestures) of the IPC and only 23 cases under Section 354 (molestation) of the IPC have been registered so far this year in the city.
“We have formed 20 Shakti teams under as many police stations under the jurisdiction of Amritsar city Commissionerate,” he said, adding that these would be stationed at various public places, including outside educational institutes, which were designated as hotspots while observing the instances occurred in the past, besides in public transports. Each team would include two women cops and a policeman. They would be in civvies and equipped with spy cams to collect evidence against the offenders.
Depending upon the crime, Shakti teams could register an FIR or take preventive action or if the need be, counsel the offenders by involving their family members. Joint Police Commissioner D Sudarvizhi and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Cybercrime and Forensics, Manpreet Shinhmar would be the nodal officers. He said each complaint would be documented and followed up in the future.
The police also launched Women Safety Officers’ teams and a dedicated WhatsApp helpline number (9781101091) wherein the women in distress could call for help. “Besides calling at helpline number 181, the women in distress could also call at the given number,” said Duggal. People could also post video messages or pictures about such incidents at this number so that appropriate action could be taken against the violators.
The police have also deputed around 80 personnel as Women Safety Officers or Shakti Officers who would spread awareness among girls and women in educational institutes. The number of Shakti Officers would be doubled in the future.
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