As per Circular No. 7 (S. No./C.P/Reader/Circular/241/2021 – Circular on Nirbhaya Squad and Project “Saksham”) dated 14th September 2021 of Government of Maharashtra, Office of Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai girls and women who go out of their houses for either school, colleges or jobs are being harassed in person or through phone calls, messages, e-mails and other social media. Hence, to create a sense of respect for women in the society and to create fear of the law, as well as to eradicate the atrocities and harassment against women, “Nirbhaya” Squad is being set up.
The Circular also states that, an initiative by Mumbai Police Force along with “M-Power” called Project “Saksham” will be implemented to mentally empower women victims of crimes against women, victims of crimes under POCSO Act, victimized minors, and juvenile delinquents and also to provide them proper legal guidance and counseling. It further states that for its effective functioning, several steps should be taken. Some of these are:
- A “Women Safety Cell” should be set up in every police station.
- Mobile-5 patrol vehicle in every police station in Brihanmumbai should be named and known as “Nirbhaya Squad”.
- One Woman Assistant Commissioner of Police / Woman Police Inspector of each Regional Division should act as the Nodal / Supervising Officer of Nirbhaya Squad.
- Awareness should be created among citizens about “Nirbhaya Squad.”
- Every police station should fix hotspots for crimes against women. Patrolling pattern should be prepared. After proper inspection, the areas such as the slum areas, recreational grounds, parks, school-college premises, cinema premises, malls, markets, roads / subways leading to bus stand / railway station as well as less crowded / secluded places should be included.
- If a woman traveling alone at night asks for help, right help should be provided to take her to a safer place.
- A list of senior women living alone should be made and they should be visited during patrolling and also try to resolve any issues that they may have.
- A list of the perpetrators of sexual exploitation of women and children in the last 5 years in Mumbai should be prepared. List of such criminals should be obtained from the Police Station and movements of these criminals should be monitored.
- The Additional Commissioner of Police of the Regional Division should arrange counseling centers at the regional division level as well as counseling centers at each circuit level.
- Helpline Number 103 should be made more aware for women’s safety.
- Workshops on self-defense should be done by Nirbhaya Squad for women / girls in schools, colleges and staying at women’s hostel. Also, a complaint box called “Nirbhaya Box” should be kept there.
This Circular also mentions several steps that must be followed by the Nirbhaya Squad and the Honorable Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai will honor the best performing Nirbhaya Squad every month.