Chief minister Harish Rawat on Monday said his government had ordered a judicial probe into the sexual exploitation of inmates at government-run women shelter homes. The order came after the Bharatiya Janata Party staged huge protests against the issue in Dehradun.
The CM said the deaths of shelter home inmates were being reported since 2009, but no government thought of improving their conditions.
“Death of shelter home inmates is a serious issue but my government will leave no stone unturned for their best possible care. I have ordered a judicial probe into the matter,” said Rawat.
The BJP women’s wing, under the leadership of newly appointed state party chief Ajay Bhatt, along with other BJP leaders on Monday marched towards the chief minister’s residence to protest against the state government.
Protesting against the two year regime of Harish Rawat government in the state, opposition leaders said the present state government had broken all past records of poor governance as corruption was the sole guiding force behind it.
They said the Rawat government had allowed mafias to gain prominence. The BJP members said safety of women was also under threat.
“We cannot hope of anything good under the present Congress regime. Two years of Harish Rawat government has seen growth of land mafia, scams, officers demanding bribes on camera, rapes and an atmosphere with no safety for women,” said former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal NIshank while addressing a gathering of party workers before marching towards CM’s residence to ghearo it.
Nishank said the BJP’s protest and rallies will continue and intensify in the coming days.
“Harish Rawat, on the one hand, says possession of controversial land deal will not be allowed while he himself allowed it to happen and handed out the land to his son,” Bhatt said referring to Almora-based Nainisar land deal issue.
Party women’s wing chief Manju Tiwari said, “The women shelter home scandal was a big example of callous attitude of the state government towards women’s safety. The Congress government has no respect for women who were raped and sexually exploited inside the government shelter home.”
A deaf-mute inmate of Dehradun’s lone government-run shelter home for women was allegedly sexually exploited by a staffer and made to undergo an abortion in November, 2015.
Protestors clash with police
BJP workers marched towards Rawat’s Bijapur guesthouse-based residence shouting slogans amidst tight security cover on the roads. However, they were stopped midway near Survey of India campus with high barricades set up on the road.
Heavy presence of women security personnel did not allow the marchers to proceed further forcing the latter to clash with the police.
The protestors tried to cross over the barricades but were stopped and pulled down by the police resulting into a clash.
“There were not enough women security forces to face us and their male counterparts misbehaved and beat up the protestors even though the protest was peaceful. Many protestors have sustained injuries,” said BJP leader and former corporator Babita Sahotra, who fractured her hand during the clash.
Party women’s wing chief Manju Tiwari said the protestors were ill-treated and manhandled by the police on orders of the state government.