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Bangalore, Dec 16

EXPRESSING concern over the murder of a lady call centre employee in Bangalore, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), on Friday, stressed the need to implement best safety practices by business process outsourcing (BPO) units.

"As a best practice, though not required by the law, BPOs should ensure that a woman employee should not be dropped home last. Our internal system for safety and security of employees, especially women, needs improvement," said Mr Kiran Karnik, President, Nasscom, told reporters on the sidelines of the India Strategy Summit 2005.

A 24-year-old female employee of Hewlett Packard's business process outsourcing units was allegedly raped and murdered on Tuesday by the cab driver of the pick-up service. The incident, first of its kind, has raised serious concern over safety in the city. Police sources said the driver of the cab has been arrested.

Terming the incident as `unfortunate', Mr Karnik said Nasscom as an industry body would continue its dialogue with the police and the BPO units for creating a "conducive environment".

Condemning the incident, H-P said in a statement that it would increase safety control measures for the benefit of its employees. The first pick-up and the last drop will be a male H-P employee. In absence of one, a security guard will accompany the woman employee, the company said.

"With the help of the police, H-P will now perform background checks of all drivers and supervisors before hiring," the company said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 17, 2005)
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