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Odishatv Bureau

Mumbai: Alarmed by cases of rapes and molestations reported at Covid-19 centres in Maharashtra, the National Council for Women on Tuesday asked the state government to ensure that standard operating procedures are strengthened to prevent such crimes.

NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma, who is on a 3-day visit to Maharashtra, asked whether such SOPs have been established and adhered to for the safety and protection of women patients at Covid centres.

"She expressed her anguish at crimes of molestation and rape of women patients or doctors at Covid treatment centres. Among other things, she recommended strict background checks on staff and installation of CCTVs at such centres," said an NCW spokesperson.

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Sharma pointed out that the appointment of Chairperson and members of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) was pending and urged that these should be filled up to ensure complaints of women and others are addressed in a timely manner.

Highlighting that around 4,000 such complaints were pending redressal in the state, the spokesperson said that an NCW member would visit Maharashtra every month to look into the concerns or complaints by women in the state.

On alleged 'love jihad' cases in the western state, the NCW chief focused on the distinction between consensual inter-faith marriages and 'love-jihad', maintaining that the latter required attention.

Though the Maharashtra government has assured to enact a new law on the lines of the Disha law in Andhra Pradesh, there appears no tangible steps taken in this regard so far, the NCW pointed out.

During her visit, Sharma called on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, and met with Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, Additional Director General of Police Rajendra Singh, Inspector General of Police Rajvardhan, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, and other officials.


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