Odisha to set up two counselling cells for women victims

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced formation of two special cells in the state for counselling women who are “subjected to violence or abuse.”

The two cells in Rourkela and Balasore districts will function in collaboration with the National Commission for Women and Tata Institute of Social Science, the CM said after inaugurating national convention “Emerging Challenges of Violence and Women: Cyber Crime and Witch Hunting” in Bhubaneswar.

Stating that his government accords topmost priority to the safety of women, Patnaik said 29 investigation units have been set up in various districts to deal with cases of violence and abuse.

“Women are allowed to file FIR in any police station of the state. The complaint can then be transferred to the police station concerned. The government has also established women and children help desks in all 537 police stations of Odisha. Six Mahila (women’s) police stations have also been set up in the state,” Patnaik said.

Although Information Technology has brought about a “revolution” in all fields, it has also made way for cyber crimes, Patnaik noted.

“Cyber Crime is an emerging challenge for the entire country. There is a need for creating awareness among women by way of promoting digital inclusion, empowering women through digital literacy and imparting technology training,” he said.

The state government has set up cyber police stations at Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Berhampur. Also, cyber crime cells have been established in all police stations of the state, the chief minister said.

Noting that witch-hunting can lead to “lifelong suffering” for women, Patnaik said, “The state government has enacted the Odisha Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 2013 and has also prepared a composite action plan to tackle the menace of witch hunting.”

The convention, organised by the State Commission for Women, was attended by representatives from different states and the NCW, New Delhi.