Mumbai: The budget session of the Maharashtra legislative assembly was on Wednesday rocked by the news of an incident in Jalgaon on March 1, 2021, in which policemen are reported to have barged into a girls’ hostel and forced them to strip and dance for them. The entire act was shot on a mobile phone and a clip went viral. A local NGO brought this issue to the notice of authorities. The matter was raised by BJP legislator Shweta Mahale in the state assembly and verbal missives were traded by the ruling and opposition members.
Mahale said it was appalling that police officers who were supposed to protect women were also part of this shameful act.
Following the BJP’s accusation that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was ignoring, instead of paying due attention to the issue, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced that the government had constituted a four-member high-level committee to probe the incident. “It is a very unfortunate incident. The committee will submit its report in two days and thereafter, stern action will be taken against the culprits,” he said.
Deshmukh’s announcement came after some girls from the Jalgaon hostel complained that policemen and some outsiders had forced a few girls to strip and dance. The minister said the video clip and other documents had been sought and police were recording the statements.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the issue was serious and asked the government to take immediate action.
But BJP legislator Sudhir Mungantiwar declared it was about time President’s rule was imposed in the state.
Further, he said the incident begged outright condemnation. He criticised the state government for not taking action. “If our mothers and sisters are not safe and they are being humiliated, then in that case President’s rule is the only option,” he noted.
NCP Minister Nawab Malik took strong objection to Mungantiwar’s statement and asked whether he was issuing a threat. He demanded that Mungantiwar’s statement be expunged from the proceedings.
Meanwhile, Minister of Women and Child Development Yashomati Thakur said that the guilty would not be spared. “I have not seen the video. But I assure you that nobody will be spared, strict action will be taken. The Home Minister has ordered a probe and I am personally looking into it too,” she said.