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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Soon, Maharashtra students can report sexual abuse online

State to set up website for students to complain against sexual harassment anonymously; will install CCTV camera surveillance network in schools

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2017 09:34 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis outside Vidhan Bhavan on Thursday.
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis outside Vidhan Bhavan on Thursday.(HT Photo)

The Maharashtra government wants students to speak up if they are being sexually harassed and will set up a website for them to register such complaints, according to an announcement made in the state assembly on Thursday.

State school education minister Vinod Tawde said the state will conduct inquiries into the complaints and ensure that the students remain anonymous. “We will investigate the complaints while keeping the complainant’s identity secret,” he said. Tawde was responding to a debate over a case registered at Ahmednagar, in which a teacher was booked for sexually harassing nine students. The matter came to light only after one of the students reported the matter.

Tawde also expressed concern over the rise in cases of sexual harassment. He said complaints of sexual harassment are serious and strict action must be taken against those found guilty.

“Those who engage in such acts, even if they are teachers or part of the school administration, will not be spared,” he said.

“Several people are unaware of the police helpline for women, children and senior citizens — 103. Many students do not speak up after they are harassed.The government website is meant to help students to speak out against such ill-practices,” Tawde said. He added that the state will implement the directives issued by the high court over the installation of a CCTV camera surveillance system in schools. However, he said, simply installing CCTV cameras would not solve the problem. “We need to sensitise students and make them aware of the need to report harassment to the institution’s authorities,” he said.


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First Published: Mar 31, 2017 09:34 IST