Protesting the recent reported attacks against women in Bangalore and the apathy and indifference displayed by the city's Police Commissioner, Fearless Karnataka/Nirbhaya Karnataka submitted a memorandum to the State's DGP on March 7. When the group finally met him a few days later, victims recounted their experiences and the group submitted the memorandum again alongwith some specific questions:
1. Donna Fernandes (Vimochana) – Is it possible for a ½ day meeting with women from various NGOs and the police? We never get through to ACPs or Inspectors when we call the police station. We want time with you so we can better the system.
Ajay Singh – What I wanted was a half day meeting with the Commissioner. I will call Infant (ADGP law and Order, State) and invite some senior officers.
2. Group – Every month the Commissioner needs 2-3 hours to hear women's voices and NGO voices.
Ajay Singh – I can't disclose very much but I have written to him about the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and about your incidents. I have told him that these are serious investigations. It has been very disturbing for me to read your email (gesturing Rest House Road complainants).
3. Priya (victim) – Filing an FIR is the last resort and we are strong and vocal but there are so many more people who are not filing FIRs. Can a note be sent to police stations highlighting the particular incidents and urging police to take action in such cases?
Ajay Kumar Singh – Great idea will you help me work on it?
4. Group – Public communication, billboards needed.
Ajay Kumar Singh - This is a good idea.(The group needs to figure a way to take this forward)
5. Donna – It's crucial for communities to get together at various police station levels and the ACP should publicly commit themselves that these issues will not be taken lightly. We need to marginalise these intolerant voices. The local police, MLAs should be on the panel and commit themselves.
Singh – The MLAs will be busy till the elections are over.
6. Jiti – Can we build in measures like surety - what other legal interventions can be made to ensure justice?
Singh – We also get the blame for many things that are not our fault and that are the blame of other departments. For instance after the Mangalore open meeting women are saying we released the suspects but actually the courts released them. Surety/Self bail: I don't know what we as Police can suggest – may be you can meet the Administrative judge.
7. Archana – Is there any one single emergency contact number?
Singh – Well in addition to 100 do pass on this number, it's the DGPs control room and I will instruct them to contact the local police station: 22942111.
Referring to memorandum in front of him: I've agreed to almost all of these. I'll have to call the Commissioner and other officers and we can take this forward.
8. Donna - Can we have a higher monitoring committee of senior officers who will oversee the process of such cases right from the filing of the FIR?
Singh - I will pass an order immediately. (Calls PA in and issues orders to Pujar to oversee these particular incidents).
Agrees to a “a half day meeting that will end in something productive” and to issue a public statement after meeting with officers and going through the memorandum. Has also asked for a copy of all fled FIRs which was dropped off at his office the next day.
We are now waiting for him to revert to us.