In our country, crime against women is not treated seriously by the police.
Its prevention, investigation and prosecution are given low priority.
Our police regulations, which lay down how the police should function, were originally drafted by the British. The regulations as drafted by the British did not categorise any offence against women as heinous enough to require mandatory supervision by a senior police officer.
The responsibility for investigation and prosecution used to be left to a thanedar or a head constable with no supervision at senior levels.
One does not know whether the police regulations have since been revised to categorise rape as a heinous offence on par with terrorism, dacoity and murder requiring mandatory supervision at senior levels. If not, this is the first step that has to be taken to underline the gravity of the crime.
Every police officer holding independent charge is required to submit to his superior a fortnightly report of crime in his jurisdiction. when I was in service this report did not provide for a separate section on crime against women. The Government should prescribe a separate fortnightly report on crime against women indicating the measures taken for prevention and the progress of investigation and prosecution.
Image: Women shout slogans outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit during a protest over the gang rape of a woman in New Delhi, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP)