Mumbai: A day after the state legislature witnessed noisy scenes with the BJP making a strong case for the imposition of President's rule because of the failure of law and order in Maharashtra, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday rejected the claims that police officers were involved in an incident in a government hostel in Jalgaon where women residing in a hostel were allegedly forced to strip and dance. He thereby gave a clean chit to the police.
“An all-woman officers’ committee had been constituted to look into the incident yesterday (Wednesday) and they have reported that no police officer was involved in the incident,” Deshmukh informed the Maharashtra assembly on Thursday.
He further said that during the cultural programme which took place on March 1, one of the women had removed her clothes of her own volition and there was no involvement of the police.
“The allegations made in the newspaper about policemen allegedly forcing girls to strip and dance at the Ashadeep government women’s hostel in Jalgaon are false,” he said. He further noted, “The incident has been thoroughly investigated by a committee of six senior women police officers and others and there is no finding on male police officers entering the hostel. There was a cultural programme organised by the women of the hostel and nothing untoward had occurred.”
According to Deshmukh, as per the information given by those present, there was an entertainment programme on February 20. “Women were singing, dancing, reciting poetry. During garba, a woman felt inconvenienced by her garba costume and removed it. At that time, there were only women present in the room,” he said.
Deshmukh said that the woman who had made such a complaint was, in fact, mentally unstable. He claimed that there had been several complaints about her.
On Wednesday, the ruling and opposition members sparred over the incident based on the newspaper and media reports. BJP legislator Sudhir Mungantiwar claimed the incident was condemnable. 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 declared.
Deshmukh had assured a probe and said the guilty wouldn’t be spared.