Panel of legislators, experts to suggest ways to curb violence
Home Minister K.J. George has announced the setting up of a committee of legislators and experts to suggest measures, including amendments to the law, to curb sexual violence against women.
The announcement came in the Upper House on Wednesday after an extended debate on the safety of women in the light of a recent case of rape in a paying guest accommodation (PG) in Bangalore, and many reported cases of sexual violence against girls by male members of the family.
The issue was raised in a call attention motion by two women members, Motamma of the Congress and Tara of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Ms. Motamma said there was no regulatory mechanism for PG accommodations even though they are mushrooming in the city. Ms. Tara suggested that registration of PGs be made mandatory and they be put under the surveillance of local police stations.
Jaimala, newly-nominated member of the House, said cases of young girls being raped by members of the first circle in the family were distressing.
Referring to the comment by Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal that created a furore (he will send his “boys” to rape CPI(M) women activists), she said such statements made for political upmanship are a “shame on humanity”.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLC B.G. Puttaswamy claimed the crux of the problem was with the police “having no power to punish”. There should be fear of the police “whether officially or unofficially”. Some of the members — including Jaggesh of the BJP, Ugrappa of Congress and Ms. Tara — said dishonouring women was against Indian culture, citing Hindu Puranas and scriptures. Mr. George said all faiths revered women and the problem was not in any culture, but in perverted minds.
Interestingly, in the course of the debate, Ms. Motamma pulled up BJP MLC Arun Shahapur for indulging in “side talk” and not being serious about the issue.