Women’s Commission raps Maharashtra govt over cases of sexual harassment at Covid-19 centres
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma wanted the state to implement the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to ensure the safety of women at Covid-19 centres.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 17:58 IST
The National Commission for Women (NCW) chief on Tuesday pulled up Maharashtra government over the incidents of rape and sexual harassment at the Covid-19 centres in the state.
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma, who is on a three-day visit to Mumbai, wanted the state to implement the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to ensure the safety of women at Covid-19 centres.
“There was mismanagement at these centres due to which such sexual offences took place. These centres did not have female attendants to take care of the women patients. The authorities did not even bother to check the antecedents of the male attendants who were employed to take care of the women patients. This is gross negligence,” said Sharma. “I have asked them to install CCTV cameras and ensure female staff for women,” she added.
Sharma met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at Raj Bhavan and also met chief secretary Sanjay Kumar and Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. She asked Kumar and Singh to take punitive action against the guilty.
Sharma, however, did not personally visit any Covid-19 centre as she said she had just recovered from the virus.
In addition, Sharma also pointed to the rising number of cases where women were forcibly converted in Maharashtra. She cited the case of a woman in Aurangabad who she said was kidnapped and forcibly converted. However, she was unable to provide figures for the increase in such incidences to substantiate her claim. “I have asked the authorities to collect figures,” said Sharma.
Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik, who had to face the ire of Sharma last month, described it as selective targeting. “We condemn the sexual harassments at the Covid-19 centres but at the same time, we feel that the NCW targets the non-BJP parties. They turn a blind eye to the atrocities on women in BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh. The Hathras rape is the biggest example of this,” said Sarnaik.
Last month, Sharma had condemned the threat by Sarnaik to actor Kangana Ranaut and asked the Maharashtra DGP to arrest him.
However, Sharma denied any bias saying even BJP leaders who made sexual comments had to face the ire of the NCW.