Krishna district women forum launched

Deputy Inspector General of Eluru Range Mahesh M. Bhagwat has called for effective and proper implementation of Domestic Violence Act and other laws meant for protection of the rights of women, more so because of “misuse” of these legislations.

He was speaking at an orientation programme convened for the officials of revenue and police departments, besides representatives of non-government organisations, of Krishna district before the inauguration of Krishna Forum for Women's Rights at Kamala Nehru Working Women's Hostel complex on Saturday. Minister K. Parthasarathy inaugurated the forum in the presence of District Collector Peeyush Kumar, Commissioner of Police P.S.R. Anjaneyulu and others.

Elaborating about many problems faced by women in the state, Mr. Bhagwat pointed out that one could hear the talk of women empowerment only on the International Women's Day. But on the remaining days the subject was being conveniently forgotten.

“The provisions of Domestic Violence Act and Section 498A of the IPC relating to harassment of women are being misused at various levels. Nearly 70 per cent of the complaints have proved to be false,” he said. The police officials were instructed clearly not to arrest anybody immediately on the basis of a mere complaint as there was a risk of putting the family relations in danger because of the arrests.

Mr. Bhagwat said that the government machinery was yet become familiar with some of the laws that were intended for the protection of women. Also, the cases that were being booked under the Domestic Violence Act were not being compounded by the courts and this issue should be looked into to make the Act stronger.

He also emphasised the need to compulsorily register marriages, as it would ensure a degree of safety for women. In many instances, women approaching the police for protection against harassment by their husbands and in-laws stood to lose if proof of marriage was not available, Mr. Bhagwat pointed out.

Trafficking

The DIG referred to the serious problem of trafficking among women in Krishna and surrounding districts.

A good number of sex workers in the country were identified as those hailing from Krishna, West Godavri and East Godavari districts. The only solution to this problem was to punish the brokers.

Women's Sessions Court Judge P. Srisudha too spoke of the need for women to register their marriage. “The increasing number of crimes against women highlights the need to have a special forum like this to redress their grievances,” she said.

The Judge felt that women should fulfil their responsibilities while fighting for rights and suggested to the forum to address the problem of more number of women resorting to suicides.

Joint Collector Gaurav Uppal said that a dedicated toll free number for KWRF will be announced soon. The police officials who spoke at the sensitisation meeting pledged their cooperation for the success of the forum. Mr. Peeyush Kumar said that the objective of the sensitisation meet was to create a common platform for all departments to exchange their views on women's issues.

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