The Parliamentary panel on home affairs on Thursday came down heavily on the Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu government for failing to ensure the safety of women in the state, people familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times.
“Questions were asked why the governments had failed to reduce the number of atrocities against women and children,” a person familiar with the matter said. “The panel also wanted to know why so little of the fund earmarked for the safety of women had been used so far.”
Chaired by Congress MP Anand Sharma, the panel will convene again on Friday to adopt a report on the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The person mentioned above added that the Maharashtra government had failed to respond to the increase in the number of cases of missing women. The question, people familiar with the matter said, was raised by BJP MP Rakesh Sinha.
“Sinha pointed out that the number of cases of missing women went up from 27,316 in 2016 to 33,964 in 2017,” said the person mentioned above. “This clearly shows that the police have failed to ensure women’s safety. These missing women are often trafficked within the country or abroad. The menace has to be stopped.”
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The panel also emphasised that nearly 100,000 sex workers are illegally operating in Tamil Nadu, with 14,000 working out of Chennai alone. “Yet, barely any action has been taken,” the person mentioned above said.
Concerns regarding women’s safety came to the fore again as the Covid-19 pandemic set in. The country saw an increase in the number of cases of domestic violence lodged with the National Commission for Women during the lockdown period. Reports also indicated that there had been a rise in the number of children trafficked during the lockdown.