Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday inaugurated the first ‘Disha Police Station’ in Rajamahendravaram city to exclusively handle cases of crime against women and children.
In all 18 Disha Police Stations will soon be set up in all 13 districts of the State with a budget of Rs 21.10 crore and each station will be headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police. The AP government enacted the Disha Act, in the aftermath of the gruesome rape and murder of a veterinararian in Hyderabad late last year, to ensure speedy investigation and trial of sexual assault cases.
The Act prescribes death penalty where rape or gangrape is established. Under the new law, the State government is opening 13 special courts in each district for expeditious trial of such cases.
“The Disha case in Hyderabad stirred up a nation-wide outrage and debate. With the objective of ensuring speedy justice in such gruesome cases, we have enacted the Disha law under which investigation will be completed in seven days and trial in 14 working days thereafter. The Disha Act will ensure safety for women and instil a sense of fear in perpetrators of crime against women,” the Chief Minister said at the inauguration ceremony.
The Chief Minister launched an SOS mobile application for emergency response. The App has a single touch SOS button that would alert the police control room in case of distress and ensure speedy response.
“An exclusive Disha control room to handle calls from women in distress will be set up, which will also be able to track the nearest emergency response vehicle and automatically dispatch it to the location of the victim and act quickly,” an official note circulated on the occasion said. Also, 13 one-stop centres have become operational in the state for providing an integrated set of services to victims and survivors of sexual violence.
Each centre will have 19 staffers, including legal experts, case workers and counselors working round-the-clock. These centres will act as the first point of contact to victims for assisting in medical examination, facilitation in recording of statement and FIR, legal aid, social- psychological counselling and victim compensation, the note added.
Deputy Chief Minister Pushpa Srivani, Home Minister M Sucharita, Women Development Minister T Vanita, Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, Director General of Police Gautam Sawang, Disha Special Officers Krithika Shukla, Deepika Patil and other officials attended.