Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to the chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories on the incidents of sexual offenses against women and girls, amid nation-wide outrage over multiple rape cases. In the letter, Bhalla stated that the 'safety' of women and girls is a 'high priority' for the government. In the letter, Union Home Secretary further asserted that the government has taken measures to strengthen legislative provisions to deal with offenses against women in a stringent manner.
He said, "While the government has taken steps to strengthen legislative provisions to deal with such offenses in a stringent manner, for effective deterrence, it's imperative police is accessible and is able to deal with complaints on crime against women in a timely and proactive manner".
"MHA had requested all states and Union Territories to ensure strict compliance with a provision in law to file "zero" FIR in event of cognizable offense, including sexual assault on women. It was re-iterated that failure in this regard by any police official is a punishable offense," Bhalla added. The letter comes amid an unfortunate rise in rape cases and a nation-wide uproar towards the same. Earlier, in the morning, all the 4 accused in the Hyderabad rape and murder case were killed in a police encounter.
Cyberabad Commissioner VC Sajjanar on Friday narrated the sequence of encounters. Addressing a press brief, he said that 10 police officers had accompanied the accused to retrieve the victim's personal belongings from the crime scene. He added that two of the accused snatched their weapons and began firing on them.
"As the police party approached the area, all the four accused got together and started attacking the police party with stones, sticks and other materials. They also snatched away weapons from two of our police officers and started firing. The encounter happened around 5:45 and 6:15 AM. The duration of the entire operation was 10 mins. 10 police personnel were present with the accused," he said.
"Even though our police maintained restraint and asked them to surrender, they did not listen and continued to attack us. So we fired in retaliation and the four accused got killed. After the firing, we examined the bodies and found bullet injuries. Two of our police officers got injured - head injuries, but no bullet injuries. They were sent to the local hospital. Two of the accused Mohammed Arif and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu were found with weapons snatched from police officials," he added. The police stated that they interrogated the accused on December 4 and 5 once they were taken into police custody. The police believe that the accused may be involved in other such 'woman-burning' incidents in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. The investigation for the same is on.