Northeast activists meet Dikshit to discuss women's safety

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) A delegation of activists and lawyers from the northeast Saturday met Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, along with Delhi Police officials, to discuss the issue of safety of women from the region in the city.

Dikshit further said that she will have a high-level meeting with the Northeast MPs to talk about a special cell and a helpline for the community.

The meetings come in the wake of the gangrape of a 30-year-old BPO staffer from Mizoram in the capital last week. While two of the five accused have been arrested, the remaining three have been identified by the Delhi Police.

Alana Golnei, founder of The Northeast Support Centre and Helpline, who attended the meeting said: 'We met the chief minister yesterday (Friday) but since the issue of safety is a law and order issue, she suggested that we have another meeting today (Saturday) with the police officials. So besides us, Joint Commissioner of Police (southern range) Amulya Patnaik and another police official were also there'.

'Some of the points that we highlighted and the police and the chief minister agreed to was that BPOs should be informed about dropping their employees to their doorsteps, colonies should be well lit, stickers with important helpline numbers must be put up in public places and there should be more police patrolling in unsafe areas of the city,' Golnei told IANS.

She also said that the communication barrier that people of the northeast often face while talking to the police should be addressed.

'In the gangrape case, precious time was lost because the police couldn't understand the victim's friend easily. We therefore suggested that there should be training classes in English so that anyone can easily communicate with the police,' Golnei added.

Special awareness campaigns and sensitisation drives are also a part of the agenda. Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) will be involved in the drives.

'On the issue of a special northeast helpline and a cell, which was promised last year itself, the chief minister said that the Northeast MPs Forum has got in touch with her and they have a high-level meeting next week where this will be taken up,' Golnei added.