Pink Patrol Team to the aid of women

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CM Pinarayi Vijayan flagged off the project that will focus on dowry-related violence

KOCHI: The recent series of dowry-related deaths and the surge in the number of domestic violence cases against women have forced the government to start a ‘Pink Protection Project’ that will monitor and take immediate action against culprits. The project will focus on dowry-related violence against women and protect them against anti social elememnts in public and cyberspace.

There was a series of suicides by young women — Vismaya (an Ayurveda student in Kollam), Archana (in Kovalam) and Suchithra (in Alappuzha) — in the recent months, allegedly due to torture. To ensure the safety of the brides at the houses of the in-laws, the Women and Child Development Department issued an order appointing Dowry Prohibition Officers in all districts. It was earlier confined to just three officers at the regional level.

“The police will strengthen the existing Pink Police patrol along with the new projects and ensure the team members will visit houses and collect details from the relatives, neighbours and ward members. They will hand over the information to the respective station house officers. Specially-trained women police officers are part of the project and they would be available near educational institutions, buses and bus stations, and public spaces. They will be called ‘Pink Shadow Patrol Team’.

There will also be a Bullet patrol team called Pink Romeo. Pink Control Room would be set up in every district to support their activities,” said deputy director V P Pramod Kumar. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the project on Monday by flagging off the Pink Patrol team, including 10 cars, 40 two-wheelers and 20 cycles.

Indira Rajan, secretary-general of National Council of CBSE schools, filed a public interest litigation in the High Court on July 6, seeking immediate measures from the government, including the appointment of dowry prohibition officers in every district.

In the amended Dowry Prohibition Act of 2004, there were instructions to start three regional offices in the state to be led by a regional dowry prohibition officer, Indira said. However, these offices have been dysfunctional since 2017, she added. “In my petition, I sought to find out what happened to these offices and requested the appointment of officers,” Indira said. She added that those giving dowry are also equally responsible for the crime. In the petition, she cited that dowry deaths account for 40 to 50 per cent of all female homicides recorded annually in India, a trend over the period from 1999 to 2016.

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