Sunday, March 23, 2014

For a safe city, cops to prepare sexual predators list

Police chief Rakesh Maria (top, fourth from left) at the TOI meet. On his left is ex-top cop Julio Ribeiro, and on his right housing activist P K Das, Vimal Shah of MCHI-CREDAI and Nitai Mehta of Praja. (Right) Activists Gerson Da Cunha, Milind Mhaske, Indrani Malkani, Ashok Datar and Trupti Amritwar

Nitasha Natu & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Mumbai police have decided to prepare a sexual predators list, police commissioner Rakesh Maria told the TOI on Saturday. 

    Every police station in the city has been asked to maintain this list, and those who are

on it will be under scrutiny. “During public festivals such as Ganeshotsav and New Year’s Eve celebrations, these men will be kept off the streets,” he said. 

    Maria made this announcement at a roundtable discu
ssion organized by The Times of India on Saturday as part of its ongoing Mumbai Patrol campaign. 

    Among those who were part of the riveting discussion on infrastructural, social, civic and safety issues in the
city were former police chief Julio Ribeiro, housing activist and architect P K Das and educationist-activist Indrani Malkani. The discussion was moderated by activist Gerson Da Cunha.
    TOI will, in the next few
weeks, do special coverage on issues raised during the discussion.
    Elaborating on the criteria for inclusion of names in the ‘predators’ list, Maria said serial offenders in rape and molestation cases would be
included in it. 

    However, those accused in ‘technical’ cases, such as those booked for rape for going back on a promise of marriage, may not figure in it.

 ‘Gangrape cases to be probed by inspector-rank officer’

    A committee comprising zonal deputy commissioners and the regional additional commissioner will have the final say on inclusion of names in the list. The list’s contents will be kept confidential and will not be displayed either in public or on notice boards inside police stations, he said.
    Also, from now on, every gangrape case and those cases of rape where the accused is not known to the survivor will be investigated by an officer of inspector rank. An inspector-rank officer brings in 20 to 25 years of experience, also of having attended numerous court hearings, and is familiar with trials. 
    “Preferably, this inspector-rank officer will be a woman. But there are police stations where we may not have a female inspector, in which case her male counterpart will head the probe,” Maria said. Cops said this would ensure a speedier probe. 

    “An inspector (who is also agazetted officer) is way more
experienced and seasoned than a sub-inspector or an assistant inspector,” said deputy commissioner Mahesh Patil, who is the Mumbai police spokesperson. Patil added that as per the amended provisions of the IPC, the presence of a woman officer is a must while the statement of a rape survivor is being recorded.

Police commissioner Rakesh Maria with ex-police chief Julio Ribeiro 

The Times of India, March 23, 2014

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