India launches nat’l database on sexual offenders
India has launched its first national online registry for sexual offenders in a bid to check crimes against women and children.
A separate portal, which will allow anonymous complaints on objectionable online content related to child pornography, sexual abuse of children, sexually explicit materials such as rape and gang rape videos, etc. was also launched.
India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday launched The National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO), a central database of "sexual offenders" in the country which will be maintained for regular monitoring and tracking by the police in different stats.
The NDSO is accessible only to law enforcement agencies and will assist in effectively tracking and investigating cases of sexual offences.
The database will include information on offenders who were convicted on charges of rape, gang rape, sexual offence against children and eve-teasing.
At present, the database contains 4.4 lakh entries and the state police have been requested to regularly update the database from 2005 onwards. The database includes name, address, photograph and fingerprint details for each entry. However, the database will not compromise any individual's privacy.
India became the ninth country to have such a national database on sexual offenders.
The second portal launched is Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC), which will enable complainants in reporting cases without disclosing their identity.
This will not only aid the victims/complainants but also help civil society organisations and responsible citizens to anonymously report complaints pertaining to child pornography, materials on sexual abuse of children, or sexually explicit materials such as rape and gang rape videos.
Complainants can also upload the objectionable content and URL to assist in the investigation by the police.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will proactively identify such objectionable content and take up with intermediaries for its removal. The complaints registered through CCPWC will be handled by police authorities of respective states.
The portal also has a "report and track" option for the victim or complainant to track his or her report by using his/her mobile number.
Speaking after launching the CCPWC and NDSO, Rajnath Singh said the government has taken several measures to check crimes against women and children, including provision of stringent punishment and creation of modern forensics facilities to improve investigation, creation of the Women's Safety Division in the Home Ministry and launching of Safe City projects for women's safety.
The two portals are part of efforts in the direction of strengthening security of women and children, the minister said.
However, he said police have to overcome the challenge at the ground level to ensure speedy justice to the victims.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi urged the law enforcement agencies to pay special attention to the safety of children at shelter homes after a number of such homes recently came under the scanner for sexual abuse of children.
She also underlined the need for provision of forensic kits at police stations for quick investigation of sexual crimes.
Indian Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba highlighted the need for time-bound completion of investigation in sexual crimes to instill deterrence among potential offenders.
He said the two portals will be extremely helpful to the law enforcement agencies, especially during investigation in which the offenders migrate to other states after committing the crime.