New Delhi: Women do not feel safe in Delhi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit admitted Wednesday.
"Women don't feel safe in Delhi. Fears have risen. I'm shocked to learn about the Lajpat Nagar attempted rape case. It's a big setback for us," she said referring to the rape bid on a 19-year-old woman Tuesday.
The Class 9 student fought off the rape bid in her own house by an electricity contractor, who thrust an iron rod into her throat to quell her cries for help. The accused has been arrested.
However, the chief minister promised to do everything possible to provide safety to women.
"My government will do everything possible to provide a conducive atmosphere for the women in the city," Dikshit said.
But Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat criticised Dikshit.
"It is clear that women in Delhi are insecure. The chief minister is speaking the truth. But it is surely not enough. What is her responsibility as chief minister?
"Women's security issues have become political football between central and state government. Chief minister blames Delhi Police; central government defends police. It's a shame."
Policing must change, says Dikshit
Sheila Dikshit called for police reforms to make the force responsive and to win the trust of the people.
In her message, Dikshit said people at large had come to realize that "police should be more responsible, proactive and sensitive in order to ensure a sense of security and confidence".
Referring to the Dec 16 gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi, she said the outrage "has also made both the public and the government to join heads together to have fruitful interaction in this regard".
She demanded that proper attention be given on training to improve professionalism in police forces and to enhance operational efficiency.