Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Thursday told the states and Union Territories to create special police cells for dealing with sexual offences against women and children.
In a letter, Gandhi urged all Chief Ministers to make sure that investigations in such cases are completed "as per the timelines of law" for speedy justice to the victims and their families.
"A quick and timely professional investigation is the only method in which a potential offender can be deterred but this can be done only by the states as the police department is a state subject," she wrote.
"Forming a special cell only for sexual offences or specially for sexual offences on children would be a significant step in this regard."
The minister also suggested that police officers be "re-trained on various aspects of sexual offences" particularly those related to collection and preservation of evidence.
"Instructions may be issued to all police officers that utmost priority is to be given to complete the investigation of cases of sexual offences against children. State governments must take strict action against the police officers found to be obstructing the investigation or colluding with the perpetrators of such cases."
The minister requested the states to generate awareness among children in using the e-box with child helpline number 1098. Under the initiative, children can report crimes directly to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
She also offered help to states in establishing forensic laboratories to be used for forensic analysis of evidence in sexual offences.
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