Women commission rejects member’s report on Mangalore attack

February 6th, 2009 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) The National Commission for Women (NCW) Friday rejected its member Nirmala Venkatesh’s report that blamed the Jan 24 attack on women in a Mangalore pub on the security of the establishment.NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said the report lacked on three counts - no social activists or local advocates were included in the committee, none of the persons attacked were contacted or interviewed, it focussed on the licence issued to the bar owners that was not part of the probe - and was thus not acceptable.

“It is not clear as to the steps taken by the committee to meet the victims except to say that they had left Mangalore,” Vyas told reporters while reading out a written statement, a week after Venkatesh visited Mangalore and blamed lax security for the attack.

“The report focuses on the nature of licence issued to the bar owners when that was not part of the terms of reference issued to the committee. In any event, even if the pub did not have a licence there was no reason for anybody to beat up women,” she said.

According to Vyas, even if it was not possible to meet the victims, the fact that the accused allegedly admitted that they did beat up the victims under certain circumstances should be enough for the NCW to issue a condemnation and “make recommendations accordingly”.

“The women’s commission is set up to address issues relating to women and make recommendations for their protection and empowerment. The commission condemns all forms of violence against women including the attack in question.

“In the circumstances, the commission cannot accept this report,” she added.

The NCW, she said, would have formed another committee to look into the matter, but the ministry had already instituted a committee headed by joint secretary Kiran Chadha that submitted its report to Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury Friday.

But a defiant Venkatesh, who received a notice from the ministry Thursday night, said she “abides by the recommendation and observation” she had made.

Activists of a self-styled pro-Hindu moral brigade called Sri Rama Sene barged into a pub in the coastal city of Mangalore, 350 km from here, on Jan 24. They thrashed the young girls, dragged them by their hair and molested them for “violating traditional Indian norms”.

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