11,000 girls missing in Chhattisgarh, Congress MP claims in Rajya Sabha

NEW DELHI: Members in Rajya Sabha, including deputy chairman PJ Kurien, were amazed when a Congress MP claimed that 11,000 girls were missing in Chhattisgarh.

The chair asked the government to take up the matter with state administration.

Speaking on private member bill moved by BJP member Subramanian Swamyto amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, Congress MP Chhaya Verma said that people are scared of sending girls to schools in adivasi areas of Chhattisgarh.

While giving examples of child abuse and rapes in tribal areas of the state and assaults on children living in hostels, she said that 11,000 girls were missing in Chhattisgarh.

Expressing surprise, deputy chairman asked minister of state for women and child development Krishna Raj to write to the Chhattisgarh government and take up the issue.

Kurien said that action should be taken and if such a hostel (where girls are raped) is there, it should be closed. He also asked the member to take up the matter with Union home ministry.

Swamy’s bill essentially sought deletion of Section 19 of the Act which makes it mandatory for anyone having knowledge about molestation of a child to report it to the police.

Even judges have to inform the police if they get know while hearing divorces cases, because of which several judicial officers refuse to take up such cases, Swamy said.

“If any information comes to my ministry, we will look into it and consider amendment of the Act,” MoS women and child development Krishna Raj said.

After the assurance, Swamy withdrew the bill.

According to Section 19, any person, who fails to report the commission of an offence or who fails to record such offence shall be punished with imprisonment of either description which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.

Congress member Jairam Ramesh said, “There may be infirmities in the law but I think this amendment is most ill-advised”.

He said, “It was not a mistake but a conscious decision was taken” to bring such provisions under the Act by the then UPA government. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/11000-girls-missing-in-chhattisgarh-congress-mp-claims-in-rajya-sabha/articleshow/58074992.cms