Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that a system will be put in place where a woman moving out of home for work would have to register herself at the police station, and she will be tracked for her safety, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
Inaugurating an awareness programme on crime against women called “Samman” on Monday, the chief minister said a helpline number will be provided to these women, which will enable them to call for help when in distress. The government would also make it compulsory to install panic buttons in public transportation vehicles, he added.
Chouhan also supported raising the minimum age for women to marry. “I feel that the marriage age of daughters should be increased from 18 to 21 years,” he said. “I want to make this a matter of debate, and the country and the state should reflect on this.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had said during his Independence Day speech last year that the government will set up a committee to revise the legal marriageable age for women.
During his Monday’s inauguration speech, the Madhya Pradesh chief minister pointed out that incidents of rape have reduced by 19% in the state, kidnapping by 23%, female foeticide by 20% and sexual harassment by 14%.
He said that 7,100 missing girls have been traced and united with their families and efforts were underway to find the remaining missing children, according to India Today. “The government of Madhya Pradesh has decided to issue a report card to complainants in cases of missing children,” the chief minister said. “The entire investigation will be detailed in these report cards and wards would be apprised of the progress in investigations, every 15 days.”
He also expressed concern about pornography, saying new ideas were needed to stem its spread, News18 reported. “Merely abusing the police for inaction won’t help,” he said.
Chouhan also facilitated people at the event for preventing crimes against women or helping them. Munnibai Kol, a resident of Satna district, was honoured for helping in the return of a runaway girl by finding her parents through cross-messaging platform WhatsApp. Manoj Gaikwad, an autorickshaw driver, was facilitated for saving a 13-year-old girl from sexual assault. Bhavani Singh and Madhusudan Dubey from Raisen were lauded for assisting in the arrest of a man who is accused of sexually assaulting his daughters.
Meanwhile, former Congress state minister PC Sharma said that only formulating laws will not make women safer. He urged the chief minister to listen to actor Kangana Ranaut, who has backed capital punishment for those accused of rape and violence against women.