DCW chief Swati Maliwal proposes using Nirbhaya Fund for putting up CCTV cameras across city

DELHI(PTI): On the third anniversary of December 16 gangrape incident, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal on Wednesday proposed using the Nirbhaya Fund for installation of CCTV cameras inside DTC buses and at all police stations of the country starting with Delhi.

Swati Maliwal

In a letter addressed to the Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, Maliwal said that the Commission has received many complaints from victims of sexual crimes regarding alleged inaction by police officials.

“The Commission is receiving many complaints from victims of sexual crimes against inaction by police officials. A recent RTI reply from the Delhi Police reveals that while over 1.5 lakh complaints were received against erring police officers, FIRs have been registered in only 95 such complaints i.e., only on 0.06 per cent of the total complaints. Therefore, I strongly propose the use of the Nirbhaya Fund for installation of CCTV cameras in all police stations of the country starting from Delhi,” she said in the letter.

Maliwal also strongly recommended that the Nirbhaya Fund be immediately sanctioned for installing CCTV cameras in DTC busses in Delhi and also for setting up well-equipped forensic labs named after ‘Nirbhaya’ all over the country. She further expressed shock on having learnt that the Women and Child Development Ministry has denied Nirbhaya Fund to a proposal by the Delhi government to install CCTVs in DTC buses, despite the very fact that the incident had happened in a bus.

“Since Nirbhaya incident occurred in a bus, it seems but obvious that buses need to be made safer for women in the Capital. However, it is shocking that the ministry has been rejecting this proposal to install CCTV cameras in DTC busses since June 5, 2015 stating that the proposal is not ‘gender sensitive’. Even the Special Task Force on Women’s Safety (MHA), recognised the importance of the proposal for installation of CCTV cameras in DTC busses and forwarded the request again to the WCD Ministry, which again recently rejected the proposal on minor procedural grounds,” she claimed.

Further, I have been informed through media reports that a major chunk of the fund, around Rs 750 crores is being given to Railways which as we all know is already a cash surplus organisation. Also, as per media reports, the WCD Ministry has stated that there weren’t many ‘innovative’ schemes or proposals requesting funding from the Nirbhaya Fund,” she said in her letter.

Stating that women pay dearly for every extra day as they are made to wait outside the courts and police stations due to delay in the clearance of files and documents, she urged Gandhi to ensure the release of the Nirbhaya Fund from the bureaucratic procedures it is presently embroiled in.

“I have always admired your work and leadership and I wish to work closely with you on resolving womens issues in Delhi. On the third anniversary of this gory incident, on behalf of all the ‘Nirbhayas’, we have visited police stations, hospitals, shelter homes and courts. The DCW seeks urgent action on this issue,” she said.