Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said the state government has decided to establish two special cells for counselling of women accused of witchcraft.
“The state government has decided to establish two special cells for counselling of women at Rourkela and Balasore in collaboration with National Commission for Women and Tata Institute of Social Sciences,” said the Chief Minister while attending the National Convention on `Emerging Challenges of Violence against Women: Cyber-crime and Witch Hunting’.
He said witch-hunting unleashes lifelong suffering on women accused of witchcraft and their lives are filled with relentless pain, abuse and terror.
Considering the seriousness of the witch hunting, the government has enacted the Odisha Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 2013 and has also prepared a Composite Action Plan to tackle the evil of witch hunting, he added.
The Chief Minister said though women constitute half of the populace, historical and structural power imbalances exist between women and men in varying degrees across all communities in the world.
“The issue of violence against women is a matter of serious concern. The deterrence value of the criminal justice system is required to be reinforced by ensuring speedy investigation and trial of all cases involving the crime against women,” he added.
Patnaik said the state government has given topmost priority for speedy investigation of such cases to bring the perpetrators of crime against women to justice.
29 investigation units for crime against women have been set up in various districts. Women are allowed to file FIR in any police station of the state which can be transferred to the concerned police station.
Mahila and Sishu Desks have been established and activated in all the 537 police stations of the State. Six Mahila Police Stations have also been set up in the state, informed the Chief Minister.
Informing that Cyber Crime is an emerging challenge for the entire country, he said there is a need for creating awareness among women by way of promoting digital inclusion, empowering women through digital literacy and imparting technology training.
The state government has established cyber police stations at Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Berhampur. Besides, cybercrime cells are functioning in all police districts in the state, said Patnaik.