Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Mukul calls for speedy trial

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Crime against women and children

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has called for awareness on the different laws which are enacted to protect women and children from all forms of violence and discrimination.

Addressing the workshop on “Eliminating the rising tide of crime against women and children in North East-Police pro-activism and legal remedies, Dr Sangma stressed on the need to sensitize people on the various laws which safeguards women and children.

“We need to be aware of all the acts and laws. I am surprised that many of us in this room including the police are not aware of all the enactments that are aimed at tackling crimes against women,” Dr Sangma said adding that awakening and pressure should be built on the system so that every case is solved without delay.

Pointing to Meghalaya’s matrilineal culture where women are expected to be more empowered, the Chief Minister said “From the perspective of humanity it is painful to read reports of crime against women and minors on a daily basis. Despite the plethora of laws to deal with crimes against women and children people still commit such crimes with impunity. Is it because of disinclination of the law enforcers to aggressively pursue such crimes?” the Chief Minister queried.

Dr Sangma said he had personal experience of societal pressure being brought to bear on victims of rape etc to compromise with the perpetrator of the crime. He pointed to the recent case in Garo Hills where a ten year old child was raped and family members of the perpetrator were looking for a compromise solution.

Calling on the law enforcers to be more vigilant, Dr Sangma asked, “After a case of rape or sexual assault is registered how many are aggressively pursued; how many offenders are charge-sheeted and how many are finally convicted?” Pointing to the delay in charge-sheeting and prosecution the CM said witnesses are often lost on account of the delayed process of getting justice.

According to Dr Sangma, expeditious settlement of cases pertaining to women and children is imperative.

Dr Sangma lauded the pro-active and vigilant civil society which takes up cases of violence against women but said that men too should be sensitized to the issue of violence against women.

The CM assured the audience that the State Government would ensure that various departments are alert and sensitive and would work in a synchronized manner to safeguard women and children from all forms of crime.

The workshop cum seminar was organized by Rotary Club of Shillong and many stakeholders such as students, Rangbah Shnong, activists, NGOs medical professionals participated in the event.

Earlier, the State Social Welfare Minister JA Lyngdoh while addressing the workshop stated that the laws have been formulated for protection of women but these laws need to be implemented in letter and spirit.

“Even today women in North East India are being forced into bonded labour and the conflicts in the region have exacerbated the vulnerabilities faced by women. This needs to be stopped at the earliest,” JA Lyngdoh added while stating that police pro-actvism is important for tackling crimes against women and children.

Mr Lyngdoh requested the organisers to send him the recommendations after the seminar.

Later, Additional Director General of Police (Operations) CRPF Dr PM Nair made a presentation on different sections of the law and acts which are enacted to safeguard women and children from crimes against them. Nair dwelt extensively on the problem of trafficking of women and children.

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