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Feb 19, 2019

Rajnath Singh launches pan-India number 112 for women safety

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi today launched a range of citizen safety initiatives in New Delhi.

It includes the Emergency Response Support System, ERSS, for women safety in 16 states and Union territories.

The states include Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir. The service has already been launched in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

Persons in distress can dial a pan-India number: 112. Under this system, all the states have to set up a dedicated Emergency Response Centre, ERC.

A citizen may Press power button on a smartphone thrice quickly to activate a panic call to ERC. In case of a feature phone, long press on number 5 or 9 on the phone keypad will activate the panic call.

The ERCs are connected to District Command Centres and the Emergency Response Vehicles, and assistance to victims is facilitated through them. An amount of over 321 crore rupees has been provided for this initiative through the Nirbhaya fund.

The Home Minister also launched two portals - Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences and Safe City Implementation Monitoring Portal.

Mr Singh also launched DNA analysis facilities for States. The DNA analysis centres will have facilities like refrigeration of samples, automated DNA extractor and sequencer, centrifuges and genetic analysers, among others. A sum of 79 crore rupees has been sanctioned for this initiative.

In the initial phase, dedicated DNA analysis facilities have been sanctioned for the forensic science laboratories located at Chennai, Madurai, Agra, Lucknow, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Singh said that Government is fully committed to women's safety. He said many steps have been taken, including strengthening the Indian Penal Code and developing a holistic approach to bring a change in people's behaviour.

He said, a separate Women Safety Division has been established in the Home Ministry and many existing laws have been amended. The Minister said, a national database of sexual offenders has been released.

Mr Singh said, projects launched today will be very effective for the protection of women. He expressed confidence that the police will be able to take strict and timely action against those who commit crimes against women.

In her address, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said, Government has been pro-active towards critical issues of women safety and also adopted solution-driven approach.

She said, in the last four and half years, Narendra Modi led Government has undertaken a slew of initiatives towards strengthening women empowerment.

These include 33 per cent reservation for women in the Police Force, introduction of registration of marriage of NRI Bill 2019, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, National Registry of Sexual Offenders, Forensic Science Laboratories and Panic Button.

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