The home ministry has purchased 5,000 rape investigation kits which would be given to police stations across the country for speedy probe in sexual harassment cases, according to a senior Women and Child Development official.
The official said that for now, five kits each would be provided to randomly-selected police stations and states have also been asked to chip in with their contribution.
The kits are designed to carry out immediate medical investigation and aid the evidence-gathering exercise in sexual assault and rape cases.
"The Home Ministry has procured 5,000 rape investigation kits that would be distributed to randomly selected police stations across the country for speedy probes in sexual harassment cases," he said.
Each kit comes with a set of test tubes and bottles and costs Rs 200 to Rs 300, the official said.
The official said the states have responded positively and the Haryana government has even approved their procurement.
Explaining the functioning of these kits, the official said it would be used to collect various samples -- such as blood, semen and sweat -- of the victim which will be locked and sent to the forensic laboratory. It will carry the time of sealing of the samples and also the names of the police officer and the doctor involved.
As many as 1,10,333 cases of rape were registered in the country between 2014-16, according to government figures.
The figures say that 38,947 cases of rape were registered in 2016, 34,651 in 2015 and 36,735 in 2014.
Altogether 3,38,954 cases of crime against women were registered in 2016, while 3,29,243 such cases were registered in 2015 and 3,39,457 in 2014, according to the government figures.
Rape accounts for about 12 per cent of all crimes against women, according to the figures.