It has been eight years since the horrific gang-rape and murder took place of a physiotherapy student. This came out to be known as the Nirbhaya case — in south Delhi. 2020 is a significant year as this year has brought an end to the legal battle that was going on between the state and the convicts. The convicts who were included in this case were hanged on 20th March 2020.
However, The Nirbhaya case, did not just result in the severe punishment of the rapist and the hanging of the rapist-murderers. But it also changed the way Delhi Police dealt with crimes that was happening against women.
For one, registration of a crime underwent a systemic change and that was leading to an increase in FIRs filed, from 706 in the year 2012 to a peak of around 2,199 in the year 2015. This year was although a safe for women, with around 1,429 cases registered cases till October 31 against the 1,884 last year in the same period.
Police commissioner S N Shrivastava is known to have implemented a zero-tolerance policy in crimes which are done against women, and the joint commissioner- as well as the deputy commissioner oversee the investigation in these cases, pushing for the timely arrests and also for the filing of the charge sheets.
The now Serving officers and the retired police officers agree that the incident that happened on 16th December 2012 was a turning point for the law enforcement in the city. Delhi Police underwent an overhaul at the low-roots level and took different steps of measures.
An officer claimed that Delhi police gave top priority to women’s safety whether it’s from dedicated anti-stalking cells to self-defence training for the women and also they have got an app named Himmat Plus app for easy access to police. The officer said that no jurisdictional dispute is allowed to delay police response to a complaint.
There is a change in the police attitude towards the complainant for the women as well since that case happened. Cops are now conscious of the manner and the way in which they talk to the survivor that has come to them to record the complaint or elicit information. And besides attending to the emergencies, staff handling the 10 lines of the 1091 helpline also provides the counselling.
The case also led to the amendment for the rape laws as recommended by Justice JS Verma Commission which was set up after the Nirbhaya horror. After going through 80,000 submissions from the public, the commission also accepted the need to punish the rape, molestation and other sexual offences with the punishment of imprisonment up to seven years. Stalking or the unwanted attempts to contact a person on repeat was also made punishable by a three-year jail imprisonment.
The amended laws which were made had the police to be duty-bound to assist and help the rape survivors, starting with the immediate registration of an FIR as soon as the complaint is received. Now, women can also file online complaints. A lot of online cases has already been registered based on the email received by police.
As for stalking the cops said that all the distress calls related to the crime are diverted to a special anti-stalking group. This group follows up on the abusing number and also deals with the aggressor in an effective manner. The cases are referred to the local police within a span of time.