Mangaluru, Jan 24, 2016: As per recent population figures, DK has 947 girls for 1,000 boys aged below six years and the sex ratio is 1,000:1,019
The Expert Committee on Prevention of Violence and Sexual Abuse of Women and Children, which expressed concern of the decline, called for a report under the powers vested in the DK DC Adoor B Ibrahim, within three months and instructed that the study should include whether female foeticide is the reason behind decline in sex ratio.
The Committee conveyed the need at a review meeting of the cases related to harassment and atrocities on women and children reported in Dakshina Kannada district in the last 10 years, with the district-level officers, members of women’s organisations and NGO representatives here on Jan 23, Saturday.
The Committee took officers of the Health and Family Welfare Department to task for not studying the reasons behind the declining child sex ratio in the district. As per the 2011 census, the child sex ratio in the district is 1,000:947 as against the sex ratio of 1,000:1,019.
The district has a population of 20,89,649 including 10,34,714 men and 10,54,935 women. The population of children below six years, meanwhile, is 2,08,297, with 1,01,312 girls.
V S Ugrappa, chairperson of the Committee, and other members demanded to know the reason for decline in sex ratio. “The drastic decline in child sex ratio is a matter of concern. This indirectly also indicates the possibilities of female foeticide in the district. The officials should keep a watch on the scanning centres in the district,” Ugrappa said.
Committee member K S Vimala said the district-level committee to monitor female foeticide and other issues as per the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act should be strengthened and made functional.
The committee also directed the health department to submit details on the measures taken for the welfare of HIV-infected in the district within a week.
Drug cases handling : The Committee will recommend to the State government to bring peddlers and cultivators of drugs under Goonda Act, said V S Ugrappa. He said that if a strong message is sent that stringent action will be taken against those who peddle drugs, then it will help in reducing the incidents. Those who engage in rowdyism in the name of ‘immoral rowdyism’ (moral policing) should also be booked under the Goonda Act. The State government will not spare those who create disturbance in the name of ‘immoral rowdyism.’ There is a need to initiate stringent action against perpetrators of law.
Further, the Committee members expressed concern over the increase in the number of cases of acquittals in dowry harassment, assault on women, sexual harassment, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in the City Police Commissionerate and SP jurisdiction. Out of 250 dowry harassment cases registered in the City Police Commissionerate limits between 2005 and 2015-16, conviction was reported only in four cases. While 74 cases are pending in courts, the accused in 131 cases were acquitted. Similarly, in the superintendent’s jurisdiction out of 61 cases reported, 23 have been acquitted and 35 are pending in the court.
There were only 18 convictions when the number of cases of assault on women is 601. As many as 172 cases are pending in courts and accused in 313 cases were acquitted. City Police Commissioner M Chandrasekhar said that witnesses turning hostile is one of the major reason for acquittals in most of the cases.
Later, speaking to media persons, Ugrappa said that he would recommend to the government to direct the police to register suo motu cases in connection with ‘moral police’ incidents in the state, especially in Dakshina Kannada district.
Deaths without causes : CPM leader Shekhar, from Belthangady, pointed out during the meeting that more than 500 unnatural deaths were reported in Belthangady police station limits in the last 10 years.
ASP Rahul Kumar said that an average of 100 deaths take place within Belthangady police station limits in a year. The police are taking all the unnatural deaths seriously by deputing forensic experts to the spot to ascertain the reason. Taking a note of the increase in unnatural death in Belthangady, Ugrappa said that a special police squad needs to be formed for Belthangady to keep an eye on the spots where the highest number of deaths occur.
Ugrappa told mediapersons that a lack of coordination between various government departments involved in protection of women and children, lack of awareness among officials and an abysmally low conviction rate in the cases have been noticed by the Committee in the district.
’Suo motu’ cases against ’immoral goondaisim’ demanded.
Mangaluru ; Taking note of “immoral policing or goondaism” in Dakshina Kannada district, the Legislative Committee on Women and Child Safety is to recommend to the government to direct the police to book suo motu cases in all such incidents.
According to committee chairman V.S. Ugrappa, this will send a strong message to others to not resort to such practices. Speaking to presspersons after a meeting of the committee here, he said that Dakshina Kannada district was known for such incidents. He wondered how some groups in the district could take the law into their hands over matters relating to boys and girls being together.
“If the police let such persons go scot-free on the pretext that victims have not filed complaints, the incidents would only increase,” he said.
Earlier at the meeting, Chairman Ugrappa said that the committee would also recommend to the government to amend the Goonda Act to incorporate a provision for booking the accused of such incidents under the Act. But Police Commissioner of Mangaluru Chandra Sekhar M. and Superintendent of Police, Dakshina Kannada, Sharanappa S.D. told the committee that there was no need for amendment as cases could be booked under the Act. They said that the police were now booking the accused under the same Act and such incidents have come down. The charman promised to examine facts.