Police personnel told to ensure safety of women during lockdown

Dept takes note of UN's shadow pandemic warning on rise in violence against women and children

Action is being initiated against them under the stringent National Security Act (NSA), a senior officer said. Photo: iStock

After the Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown until April 30, the police department has asked its personnel to ensure that women are safe in their homes.

Taking note of the warning issued by the United Nations on shadow pandemic — a rise in physical and sexual violence against women and children, M Ravi, Additional Director General of Police for crimes against women and children, has written to police personnel in the regard.

He has suggested that personnel, who have deployed in various areas, to randomly visit vulnerable localities and susceptible households amid the lockdown. Everyday, the master control room has been receiving at least 25 calls related to domestic violence, besides calls made to the women’s helpline.

“If any of the 1091 helpline women’s helplines installed in the All Women Police Stations is not functional, steps should be taken to ensure their functioning and a log must be maintained to follow up the action taken on the calls received,” Ravi told Commissioners and Superintendents of Police.

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Ravi also asked the police officials to visit migrant camps to ensure that they were not exploited or abused. Police have also been collecting the details of students and women residing in private hostels and children staying at child-care centres as possibilities of abuse at these places are high during the lockdown, he said.

Since the enforcement of the lockdown, Tamil Nadu has witnessed a spike in the number of domestic violence and harassment cases. Until April 9, as many as 24 cases related to domestic violence were reported across the State and only six people have been arrested so far, the police said.

The violence against women is rampant amid the lockdown due to the closure of liquor shops. “Those addicted to liquor and having withdrawal symptoms have begun to inflict violence on their partners,” an official said. Most calls are related to drunk husbands who have been demanding money from their wives. Also, couples have been quarrelling due to lack of money, the official added.

Though the police did not attribute suicides to alcohol addiction, as many as 13 people have died in the state after consuming varnish or sanitizer or other chemicals to become high. More than 50 cases have been registered against people for the illegal sale of liquor and, preparation of arrack and toddy.

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