The Union minister of women and child development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday launched a ‘handbook on legal processes for police in respect of crime against children’ at a function organised by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).
Speaking on the occasion, Gandhi urged all stakeholders to unite in preventing and combating crimes against children. She highlighted that the government is committed to creating a nation free of violence against women and children. “The WCD ministry will work closely with identified stakeholders to ensure that this handbook is available in every police station, preferably in local languages,” she added.
She emphasised that the government has decided to take every step in addressing this issue in the best possible manner. One of the important requirements is to empower and skill the police agencies and other responders in addressing the crimes against children professionally and diligently, she added.
Further, she elaborated upon the services offered by child line and railway child line which have been highly successful in reuniting missing children with their families.
She also informed that a short documentary “Komal” has been released to sensitise the children on “good and bad touch”.
“Amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act has been brought about to treat juveniles 16 years of age as an adult for trial in heinous crimes,” she said.
She expressed the need for rape investigation kits in every police station to facilitate the investigation on priority basis. The issue has been taken up with HRD ministry to print POCSO related laws on front and back of all the textbooks to increase awareness among children. The minister also mentioned about the e-box complaint system for the school children to come up against the issues of sexual harassment.
Gandhi said she hoped that the book will prove to be a tool to enhance and fine-tune the skills of the end user in the application of the laws, rules, rulings and related provisions pertaining to crimes against children.
A handbook is a composite tool which will aid police personnel to chart a step-by-step procedure to be adopted in cases of crime against children. Legislations and the latest rulings of courts are also mentioned in the book.
A team led by Dr PM Nair of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has developed this comprehensive, user-friendly, process oriented document published by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in partnership with TISS.
The publication is part of an initiative taken by BPR&D to partner with reputed academic and research institutions across the country in undertaking research and developing quality tools and knowledge products to enhance the professional competence of the Indian Police.