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Andhra Pradesh gets 18 Disha police station to fight crimes against women, children

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Hyderabad, Feb 14: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy led Andhra Pradesh government has opened up total of 18 'Disha Police Station' across the state to effectively deal with crimes against women and children and to fast-track the judicial proceedings. These Disha police stations will also include certain existing women's police stations which will be upgraded.

The government took this initiative after the horrific gangrape and murder case of a 26-year-old woman in Hyderabad in November 2019 that grabbed nationwide attention. The woman was also named Disha by the media after whose name these police stations have been named.

Andhra Pradesh gets 18 Disha police station to fight crimes against women, children

The first Disha police station was inaugurated in Rajamahendravaram city in East Godavari district on Saturday.

The state government on December 13, 2019 passed the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (also known as Disha Act) which makes it mandatory for trial in cases of rape to be completed within 21 days. These police stations are a means by which, it claims that speedy trial completion will happen.

Each police stations will be headed by an officer of a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) rank officer with minimum of 36 staff majority of which are women. The team will also comprise two circle inspectors and three sub-inspector rank officer and support staff whose strength will be between 36-47 to assist in the probe.

The team will deal in cases under IPC section 376 (rape and gang rape), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and the POCSO Act.

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A control room to attend the calls from women in distress would be set up in these police stations, which will also be able to track the nearest emergency response vehicle and automatically dispatch it to the location of the victim, triggering a quick response system.

A mobile application 'Disha App' has also been launched for women's safety. A person can alert the officials by just shaking their phone when in distress and if unable to operate the phone, SOS will be sent to the Disha control room as well as their family members. The location of the caller will also be shred with the control room to take stock of the situation.

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