Visakhapatnam has undertaken an initiative to help assist the newly implemented Disha Act (2019), which ensures speedy justice to sexual abuse and harassment victims. A special office has been established at the ‘One Stop Centre’ in the King George Hospital (KGH) premises. This centre will provide assistance to any complainant of cases registered under the Act. Now, any victim across the State can utilise the services of this special office.
On Monday, Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand, held a review meeting, regarding this initiative, and discussed with the officials of various departments. Speaking to the media, the District Collector informed that a full-fledged Sub-Inspector (SI) will be stationed at the centre, to register zero FIRs against those who assault women and children. A team of duty doctors, led by a gynaecologist, will work around the clock to help the women in distress. The centre will also be equipped with a forensic lab. Furthermore, temporary accommodation will be provided to the victims at the office. A district-level official of the Women and Child Welfare Department will act as the nodal officer and monitor all the activities.
Mr Chand urged women to dial the toll-free numbers, 112 or 100, and report against those who resort to acid attacks, rape, and social media harassment.
The Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, also known as the Disha Act (2019), was passed by the Andhra Pradesh State Government, on 13 December, 2019, two weeks after a young woman was brutally gang-raped and murdered in Hyderabad. The Act states that the trial in such cases needs to be completed within 14 days and the judgement must be given within 21 days. According to the new law, the guilty will be sentenced to death if adequate conclusive evidence is presented in court.
The State Government will also set up special courts, in all the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh to deal with cases of offences against women and children including acid attacks, rape, and social media harassment.