CAW should be handed over to fast track court: Women groups

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Shillong, Sep 19 (UNI) Concerned over the rising crime against the fairer sex, several women organisations today asked the Meghalaya government to handover cases related to Crime Against Women (CAW) to fast track court to ensure justice to victims.

The women organisations made this appeal during the hour-long discussion in the backdrop of the recent twin murder of two women at Mawpdang village, a suburb in the city.

Most of the organisations also urged the government to create a separate wing of official/ unit headed by a senior officer with a team of experienced officers to combat CAW.

The Civil Society Women's Organisation, one among the forefront organisation, which has been fighting for the cause of women folk, gave details of the growing CAW from 2003 onwards.

The NGOs also handed a 14-point charter on ways to tackle CAW to Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Home Hoping Stone Lyngdoh.

According to the data, 97 cases of crime against women have been registered so far this year. The data showed an upward trend in the crime rate.In 2003, 70 cases were registered thereby rising the number to 174 last year.

Many of the participants expressed concern on the low conviction rate. Many pointed to the fact that the absence of a sound forensic report proved a hindrance in conviction.

''We are working under difficult constraints,'' admitted the Director of Forensic Science Laboratory, P D Nongrum, who went on record that many of its wing are on the verge of closing down due shortage of manpower.

He said, out of the 52 cases the department was investigating this year, 35 were rape cases. 13 of these rape cases involves minors.

'' We are equally concerned with rising crime, but nothing can be done, until the government meet the requirements of Forensic department,'' Mr Nongrum said.

Quick to add to Mr Nongrum complaints, Superintendent of Police Claudia A Lyngwa said the police was also tight pressed.

''The police is tackling law and order, fighting insurgency and the other crimes at the same time. Under such circumstances we are trying to do the best,'' she added.

Ms Lyngwa also appealed to the women organisations to play a proactive role in creating awareness.

''Meghalaya is a state that holds women in high esteem in its social fabric, and today we need to focus on the safety of women, especially in a society that is fast losing its moral and social accountability,'' Parliamentary Secretary and lone woman MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh said.

Home Minister HS Lyngdoh who participated in the brainstorming session assured the women groups that the police should work in close coordination with the traditional heads and institution to combat such crime.

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