Girls at a hostel in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district were allegedly forced to strip and dance by policemen, PTI reported on Wednesday. The state government has formed a high-level committee to conduct an inquiry into the incident.
The hostel is run by the Women and Child Welfare Department, according to India Today. On Tuesday, a non-governmental organisation in Jalgaon had complained to the district magistrate about the incident.
Residents of the hostel alleged that a group of policemen and people from outside were allowed entry into the hostel on the pretext of an investigation.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Shweta Mahale on Wednesday spoke about the incident in the Maharashtra Assembly and demanded strict action against the accused. “This incident has brought shame to the state as the police are also involved in such acts,” she was quoted as saying by India Today. “Those responsible for providing security to women are themselves turning into predators.”
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar accused the Maharashtra government of not taking the matter seriously, PTI reported.
But Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh assured the House that adequate action will be taken.
“It is a very unfortunate incident,” Deshmukh said. “A four-member high-level committee of officials has been formed to conduct a probe into it. They have been asked to submit a report in two days. Action will be taken as per rules after the report is submitted.”
Deshmukh added that videos and documents related to the incident were being collected. Responding to his remark, Mungantiwar said: “If the police machinery is not going to take information after spending Rs 15,000 crore, why [is] this government [needed]?”
Devendra Fadnavis, the leader of Opposition in the Assembly, pointed out that a video of the incident had surfaced. “Our expectation is that you [the state government] take immediate action sensitively,” he said.