Mumbai: A day after the rape-cum-murder of an 18-year-old girl in a women’s hostel, prominent Maharashtra Opposition women politicians and female activists here on Wednesday pounced on the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP government accusing it of throwing women’s safety-security to the winds, and the Congress even saying that ‘the BJP was more obsessed with Uorfi Javed’s attire than women’s safety’.
As the city woke up to the shocking tragedy, several women leaders visited the Savitridevi Phule Women’s Hostel at Charni Road on Marine Drive and demanded immediate measures to ensure women in the country’s commercial capital are secure.
Condemning the incident, state BJP Mahila Morcha President Chitra K. Wagh said that the previous (Maha Vikas Aghadi) regime had committed to install CCTV in the entire hostel, but it was done only on the ground floor, and said that the present government will now take up the incomplete work.
State Mahila Congress President Sandhya Savalakhe termed it as “a heinous crime”, especially on a day when the state was celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — an epitome of justice and equality for women.
She feels this was not surprising under the BJP where women are under stress everywhere, the perpetrators of such crimes are getting political support and they become more brazen each time.
“The BJP is more interested in discussing (model-actress) Uorfi Javed’s wardrobe for weeks than taking tough measures to ensure safety-security of girls or women who come here from all over Maharashtra, rest of India as well as abroad to study and work,” said Savalakhe, taking a potshot without naming Wagh for her raging war with the young celeb (Uorfi Javed) for several days in January.
Accusing the Centre and state of ‘not being serious’, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule said that the question of CCTV cameras and security must be prioritised in and around women’s hostels.
Terming it as a failure of the home department, she referred to the agitation of the Delhi women wrestlers and said that the very same government which gave the slogan of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ denies justice to the womenfolk, and “from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, women have anger and hatred against the central government”.
Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Dr. Neelam Gorhe, Deputy Chairperson of Maharashtra Legislative Council has written a letter to the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis highlighting the burning issue of women’s safety and security.
Expressing apprehensions over safety in women’s hostels, Shiv Sena (UBT) MLC Dr. Manisha Kayande has demanded that the government must conduct a thorough audit of the safety-security measures in all such hostels in the state, ascertain if are CCTVs installed there, the antecedents of the security personnel or other staff appointed there, etc.
“In yesterday’s incident, the hostel is nearly vacant, the victim girl was given a room on the lower floor, she was found dead on the 4th floor, she had complained to the hostel authorities but they failed to heed her… All this needs to be fully investigated,” demanded Dr. Kayande.
Social activist and Bhumata Ranragini Brigade chief Trupti Desai said the incident is a “blot on Maharashtra” and the state must probe if there was more than one person involved in the Tuesday incident and a possible deeper conspiracy in the crime.
The male brigade like Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, state Congress President Nana Patole, Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut, NCP Chief Spokesperson Mahesh Tapase and more have also attacked the ruling Shinde-Fadnavis government over the incident.
Slamming the Sena-BJP alliance, Patole demanded the resignation of Fadnavis for failing to protect the women in the state from such horrific crimes and ensuring a secure environment for the womenfolk.