Bengaluru: In a sign that the B.S. Yediyurappa government was waking up to the perils of the horrific rape incidents in Hyderabad and Unnao being replicated in the tech capital, where more women work at night than most cities, home minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday red-flagged two sectors where women and girls are at highest risk, and promised to make the city safer for them.
Going by cases reported from various places, Mr Bommai told the media: "attempt to rape and rapes were reported in the environment of tech companies and from construction sites where labourers work. Therefore, we have to tackle both."
As part of efforts to make the city women-friendly, the city police would make serious attempts to reduce the duration between the police receiving distress calls from women or girls and promptly reaching the spot to help them.
Mr Bommai, who chaired a meeting with officials from the police and law departments on measures to be taken to protect women, said: "Over 30 lakh women and girls downloaded the Surakasha App so far. The moment they press it, the police will get the alert and will reach the spot. At present the duration between the police receiving the calls and reaching the spot is seven minutes. We want to reduce it further so that we should reach spots within five minutes - and not seven minutes - of receiving calls."
The home minister also said the Centre would release 'Nirbhaya' funds that has been completely under-utilised, and the state government would make every effort to utilise the funds effectively. "We have 270 Hoysala vehicles in the city and another 183 are working across the state. The government is planning to raise it to 500 at least," he added. On POCSO cases involving rape of minor girls, Mr Bommai said the state had set up courts to deal with POCSO in every district but there were delays in taking cases to the logical end. The police also probed the drugs angle in various rape cases. The officers were directed to eliminate drug mafia in the city, the minister added.
Referring to instances of rowdyism by young boys, Mr Bommai admitted that largely they were below 25 years and uneducated. The police has been directed to take stern action against such youth, he added. Women are at risk in Bengaluru where police night patrolling is thin and practically non-existent and street-lights along major IT corridors in Whitefield, Bommasandra, Indiranagar and Koramangla are deliberately switched off by BESCOM with the connivance of local city MLAs, leaving the city in the hands of drunks and rowdy elements....