The state of Uttar Pradesh is infamous for crimes against women. But strangely, the crimes don’t get reported often because of the social stigma around it and the dignity of the girl and family involved becomes more important than reporting harassment, rapes etc. However, the UP government has now come up with a solution to this by launching 3,200 ‘UP 100’ Innovas and Boleros of the Uttar Pradesh Police, which attend emergency calls in less than 20 minutes.
It has been 50 days since this initiative was launched. Since then, 2.12 lakh calls have been registered by the UP police. The police revealed that among crimes against women, domestic violence was the most reported.
“While calls around disputes have been the highest at about 60,000, what has been surprising is that the second highest number of calls, 23,127, was for domestic violence. 51% of the complainants were women victims themselves while 26% complaints were from senior citizens. In some cases, even neighbours called to alert the police. Maximum cases were of man beating wife, the family beating the wife and senior citizens getting beaten,” UP Police Additional Director General Anil Agarwal told ET.
Of the 2.12 lakh calls, 5,600 have been made by women reporting cases of sexual abuse, harassment, and about a dozen calls came from acid attack survivors.
After political backlash from opposing parties on law and order in UP, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav came up with this scheme. A special control room has been set up on the outskirts of Lucknow to attend to all calls. About 600 telephone lines for emergency calls run 24X7 in which 700 women outsourced by Tech Mahindra have been deployed. The 3,200 Innovas and Boleros are divided into 700 for urban areas and 2,500 for rural areas respectively.
As far as the number of policemen are concerned, 22,275 policemen have been instructed to look after the law and order of the state. They are restricted by time to reach the crime scene by 20 minutes for rural areas and 15 minutes for urban areas.
While the maximum number of calls come in between 4:30 pm and 9:30 pm, about 31,000 calls out of the 2.12 lakh come between 10 pm and 7 am. The entire project cost the government around Rs 2,325 cr for five years, including capital cost of Rs 800 cr for land and building, Rs 300 cr for the vehicles and Rs 150 cr for IT equipment.
Though the state is set to go to polls, the surveillance will not be diverted for any election-related duty.
The move does seem like an effort that will bring a change in the state of women’s treatment in the state and help decrease crimes against them.
Picture credit- Siasat Daily