NGO hails Meghalaya support to rape victims

Shillong: An influential women NGO today hailed the Meghalaya government`s approval of compensation to rape and trafficked victims. "This is truly a very honourable move-a support to afflicted women-and this goes to show that the chief minister is determined to address the problems of women," Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) president Agnes Kharshiing said.

The women leader in Meghalaya, however, said, "The government should take all rape cases to the fast track court," even as she demanded, "investigating officers should follow strict norms on such cases of rape and trafficking". Agnes said the government should punish erring investigating officers. "To prevent tampering by interested parties, a copy of the medical report should immediately also be given to the victims," Agnes said.

Meghalaya cabinet on Tuesday gave a nod to the Meghalaya Victims Compensation Scheme as per requirement of Section 357 A of the CrPC.

Under the scheme rape victims are entitled to a compensation of Rs 50,000 while those who suffered mental agony due to kidnapping and victims of trafficking are entitled Rs 25,000. While there are more than 500 rape cases pending trial in various courts across Meghalaya, the official figure of cases pending trial till 2009 was 414.