GUWAHATI: Just 10 days away from voting in the second phase polling and the narrative in the capital has once again shifted to the issues of women’s safety.
Bishakha Bhardwaj, a Gauhati University student, said the next government should stress more on security concerns. In fact, security of the citizens should be the utmost priority of the government, she said.
“Staying out after 7 pm is unthinkable. I am a student and I have to be out for various activities. But I have to always keep in mind that I should be back in my hostel by 7 pm. Though it is meant for our safety, it also restricts our freedom,” she opined.
Security concerns are related to the police and here though there are about 20 police stations, there are not enough personnel. There is an immediate need for four inspectors and 40 other personnel in each station. A senior official said 90 sub inspector posts are lying vacant along with 900 posts of other personnel under the Commissionerate of Police.
He also said that the city does not have proper CCTV surveillance facility. “Cities like Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai have CCTVs. Criminal activities can be detected and action can be taken immediately. Even if there are not enough people, the city can be monitored from the control room with the help of CCTVs,” the official said.
Assam has the highest crime rate against women, which is about three times more than the national figure, says the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report.
“Tell me which issue concerning the people has been addressed by the parties? Security is the basic facility that we expect from the government,” Banamallika Choudhury, a city resident, said.
Women, irrespective of age, live in fear and suffer from a lack of security whether at home, their workplace, public transport, streets or markets, she said.
She urged the setting up of fast track courts for easy and affordable access to justice. “The people should be informed from time to time about the functioning of such courts,” she added.
Kalpana Das, another city resident, said she is hopeful that the policymakers will work actively to address the key issues being faced by the people.