The Karnataka State Women’s Commission report on the attack on youngsters at Morning Mist Homestay near Mangalore, submitted to the Home Minister on Wednesday, has been condemned by activist groups as being “anti-women” in its approach.
“We expect a women’s commission to be non-partisan and pro-women. But this commission is clearly toeing a party line,” said Shakun Mohini of Vimochana. She said that the report was full of details “absolutely irrelevant” to the issue of women’s rights.
Ms. Mohini said the report by commission chairperson C. Manjula was more keen on “questioning the morality of the youth who were at the party rather than the morality of those who beat up women.”
Mallige of Samanata Mahila Vedike said that the report “victimised the victim” rather than giving confidence to the women victims of the attack. “The report seems to suggest that women should be kept in safe confinement so that they do not face attacks rather than suggest ways of creating a law and order situation where such incidents cannot take place,” she said. Ms. Mallige said that the commission seemed to have defied the basic procedure of an inquiry which should be based purely on evidence rather than hearsay. “One gets the sense that the commission did not even have proper interaction with the victims,” she said. “There is a very conservative mind at work behind the report.”
K.S. Lakshmi of Janavadi Mahila Sanghatane said that the report was “misleading and full of contradictions”. Rather than unequivocally condemning the attackers, the commission was diminishing the enormity of the incident by speaking of the need to hold an inquiry against the victims. “Such incidents have become common in the coastal district. In such a context, the women’s commission should hold the government responsible for controlling such incidents,” said Ms. Lakshmi.