Port Blair, June 24: The newly enacted laws - Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023, Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita 2023, and Bharatiya Sahkshya Adhiniyam 2023, will be enforced from July 1, 2024. To ensure its effective implementation, the Andaman & Nicobar Police is conducting an intensive awareness campaign across various segments of society.

These New Criminal Laws prioritize safety and justice for Women, Children, and Vulnerable groups, emphasizing Human Rights and imposing stringent penalties for offenders.

Key highlights of the New Criminal Laws include the introduction of Zero FIR, which can now be registered anywhere, irrespective of the location of the crime. Information regarding the occurrence of any offense can also be provided electronically. A free copy of the FIR is mandated to be provided to both victims of crime and accused individuals. Harsher penalties for sexual offenses, particularly those against minors, include increased minimum sentences and enhanced punishments for repeat offenders. The definition of sexual harassment has been expanded to encompass a broader range of behaviors and situations, thereby ensuring more comprehensive protection. Additionally, stricter provisions for cybercrimes, such as data theft and cyber stalking, have been introduced to tackle the growing challenges in the digital landscape. Other notable changes include streamlined procedures aimed at faster trial processes and improved measures for victim and witness protection, thereby ensuring a more robust and responsive legal framework.

The Andaman and Nicobar Police have undertaken comprehensive initiatives to enhance its capabilities and proficiency in handling New Criminal Laws and modern policing techniques. All 4,512 police personnel have been sensitized on the latest criminal laws, and field functionaries have been imparted specialized training from CDTI, Kolkata. Additionally, every police personnel is registered on the iGOT platform and has downloaded the SANKALAN App for effective operational support. 76 police personnel have been trained as Master Trainers by CDTI Kolkata through a 10-day course. Training sessions conducted by forensic experts have covered single-digit photography/videography and scene of crime examination. Investigations officers (IOs) are receiving training on calculating hash values and preserving chain of custody for digital evidence. Training in coordination with NIC is ongoing for Police personnel, Judicial officers, Prosecution, Prison, Law, and Vigilance officials. IOs are practicing Mock investigations aligned with new criminal laws.

As, Forensic teams are required to visit crime scenes in heinous cases. Consequently, a dedicated police marine forensic boat has been stationed in Nicobar District, considering the topography of these islands.

These efforts underscore the commitment of the A&N Police in maintaining high standards of professionalism and effectiveness in their operations.

The Andaman and Nicobar Police have launched a series of initiatives to facilitate the implementation of New Criminal Laws and raise public awareness. A 24x7 dedicated Helpline No. 9531856083 has been established to provide assistance and support in navigating to New Criminal Laws. Additionally, an in-house chatbot named ‘Naye Kanoon Mitra’ is operational and prominently featured on the A&N Police website for easy access to information. Sensitization efforts have extended to Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Anganwadi workers, and Nurses, ensuring broad community awareness. Gram Panchayats across the districts have been sensitized through a Community Outreach Program, raising confidence and understanding of the laws. During the Republic Day parade, the A&N Police showcased a tableau highlighting the importance of New Criminal Laws.

The Andaman & Nicobar Police remain dedicated to strengthening the bond between the police and the community through continuous interaction and public engagement. Extensive training programs for the personnel of A&N Police and awareness campaigns for the citizens have been undertaken and will continue as the New Criminal Laws roll out on 1st July, 2024.