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Sat Dec 20 20:37:16 CAT 2014

Indian state plans 65 all-women police stations

Sapa-AFP | 28 December, 2012 15:21
Demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a protest rally in solidarity with a rape victim from New Delhi in Mumbai December 27, 2012.
Image by: VIVEK PRAKASH / REUTERS

The woman chief minister of India's West Bengal state unveiled plans Friday for 65 all-female police stations, as authorities tried to assuage growing anger over a gang-rape in New Delhi.

"Sixty-five all-women police stations will be set up across West Bengal to deal with crimes against women," Mamata Banerjee, the firebrand leader of the Trinamool party, told a rally in the north of the state.

"Ten of these stations are already functioning," she added.

Banerjee, who was until recently a coalition ally of the main ruling Congress party, also announced that 158 new courts were being set up in the state to fast-track cases involving crimes against women.

Her comments came after the federal government launched a drive to recruit more female officers as a confidence-building measure.

That campaign will start in the capital Delhi, where a 23-year-old student was brutally gang-raped on a bus on December 16, sparking nationwide protests.

The lack of women officers has been widely blamed for the failures of some police forces to thoroughly investigate allegations of sex crimes. Women currently account for less than one in five Indian police officers.

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