5,610 women went missing in 3 months, women’s commission chief demands SIT probe | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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5,610 women went missing in 3 months, women’s commission chief demands SIT probe

May 10, 2023 12:46 AM IST

Chakankar said that in most cases, the missing girls were trapped by the lure of marriage or a job. “If the police don’t find them immediately, the risk of their being sexually exploited goes up,” she said. “The girls could also be dragged into human trafficking

Mumbai: The state has 5,610 reported cases of missing girls and women in the first three months of this year, police have informed the Maharashtra State Commission for Women. A perturbed Rupali Chakankar, chairperson of the Commission, has now demanded that the government form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the cases.

Pune, India - June 09, 2022: Certificates distributed to 29 gram panchayat officials from Khadakwasla who banned rituals associated with widowhood by the hands of Pune Municipal Corporation commissioner Vikram Kumar, Pune police commissioner Amitabh Gupta and Rupali Chakankar, chairperson of the State Women's Commission, in Pune, India, on Thursday, June 09, 2022. (Photo by Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO) (Ravindra Joshi/HT Photo)
Pune, India - June 09, 2022: Certificates distributed to 29 gram panchayat officials from Khadakwasla who banned rituals associated with widowhood by the hands of Pune Municipal Corporation commissioner Vikram Kumar, Pune police commissioner Amitabh Gupta and Rupali Chakankar, chairperson of the State Women's Commission, in Pune, India, on Thursday, June 09, 2022. (Photo by Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO) (Ravindra Joshi/HT Photo)

The Commission, which gets complaints from all over Maharashtra about the lack of investigation in cases of missing girls, had sought data from the police for January to March 2023. “We took the information from the Department of Missing Persons,” said Chakankar. “In January, 1,600 girls were reported missing, in February, 1,810 girls disappeared and in March, 2,200 girls went missing. This is very alarming.”

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Chakankar said that in most cases, the missing girls were trapped by the lure of marriage or a job. “If the police don’t find them immediately, the risk of their being sexually exploited goes up,” she said. “The girls could also be dragged into human trafficking.” Females below 18 years are registered as girls and those above 18 are registered as women.

Chakankar also raised questions about the indifferent working of missing person cells in police stations. “The situation is distressing, and the state government should act immediately,” she said. “The home department should form an SIT to investigate the spiralling cases of missing girls. Home minister Devendra Fadnavis needs to review the reports of missing girls registered in police stations across the state.”

Last month, the Commission conducted a programme on human trafficking in Nagpur. It has also sent a report on current challenges and remedial plans to the home department.

On Monday, NCP leader Supriya Sule posted a tweet about the missing girls and women statistics and held the central and state governments responsible. BJP leader Chitra Wagh immediately joined issue with her, pointing out that according to National Crime Records Bureau data, 3,937 girls and 63,252 women were reported missing in Maharashtra in 2021, and 4,517 girls and 63,252 women in 2020 when there was another government in the state. “This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed beyond politics,” she said. “All women leaders, instead of criticising, should come forward and suggest measures to resolve the problem.”

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