Stepping up measures for women’s safety in the backdrop of growing demand for such action, Karnataka Government today set up a dedicated helpline.

Women in distress and those facing threat of attack including molestation could call on phone number 1091.

The helpline in Bangalore would work 24x7, state Home Minister R Ashok told reporters here.

The government initiative comes in the backdrop of the national outrage over the gang rape of para-medical student in Delhi and several incidents of rapes in the state in the past fortnight.

Voicing concern over rape incidents, state Energy Minister Shoba Karandlaje yesterday urged the BJP government in the state to amend laws to provide for stringent punishment, including surgical castration, to perpetrators of crime against women.

State Home Minister Ashok said the new helpline to be operated in the city will soon be extended to the entire state.

“Till such time people particularly women could call at 100 to report crimes against women”, he said.

He also said police have issued an “advisory” to all the BPO firms and IT firms employing women staff to inform the government about the steps they have initiated for security of women in their establishments.

He said all BPO, MNCs and IT companies have been directed to maintain a record of details about drivers and installation of GPS system in all vehicles is mandatory.

The government has also made it compulsory for those running Paying Guest units and hostels for women to register with police.

Police have stepped up vigil across all women colleges to check eve-teasing cases and patrolling in vast vacant lands owned by Universities and defence establishments, he said, adding CCTV cameras would also be installed in these places, besides public places.

The Minister said all private schools have been directed to furnish details of drivers hired by them to police in the backdrop of allegation of sexual harassment of girl children by vehicle crew.

Commenting on the cases booked against traffic violators, Ashoka said during last year, 50 lakh cases were registered and Rs 52 crore fine collected in the city.

Ashoka sought to side step queries on Karandlaje’s letter seeking surgical castration for rapists and also blaming police laxity in dealing with rape cases.

“We have taken the advice of several women and women organisations in issuing fresh guidelines for women’s safety”, he said.

(This article was published on January 3, 2013)
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