iconimg Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Delhi, January 07, 2013
In a regressive move, the Puducherry government has reportedly suggested redesigning of school uniforms to make it mandatory for girl students to wear overcoats to prevent sexual crimes. The government is also planning to ban cell phones in schools. The decision was taken by the education department following outrage after the kidnap and rape of a Class 12 girl by a bus conductor and an engineering student on New Year's day.

"The meeting resolved to introduce overcoats for girl students, operate special buses for them and ban mobile phones in schools. Our government is committed to ensuring safety of women, particularly girl students," school education minister T Thiagarajan said.

Thiagarajan reportedly also said the government will operate exclusive buses for girl students from the next academic yearhavign only women conductors. The education department has also apparently proposed to set up flying squads to conduct periodic inspections at schools to monitor implementation of the ban on mobile phones.

The decision drew flak from women's forums and human rights activists.

All India Democratic Women's Association general secretary Sudha Sundararaman said, "It is shocking to note that the Puducherry government is unaware that dress has nothing to do with the crime. It is trivializing the issue without addressing the problem."

Human rights activist and former MLA D Ravikumar said such regressive measures will not prevent crimes against women.

A 17-year-old girl was kidnapped and allegedly raped by two men on Tuesday. The girl was found in a semi-conscious state at Villupuram bus stand on Wednesday morning.

The incident triggered widespread protests in Puducherry with students and political parties staging protests.

The parents of the girl alleged that police did not act when they filed a complaint after she went missing.