Following the suspected murder of an inmate at Gurap,the rehabilitation home for destitute women in Hooghly,Women and Child Welfare Minister Sabitri Mitra today announced the setting up of a committee comprising wives of district magistrates (DMs) to monitor the functioning of state-aided womens homes.
The Minister said the decision has been taken after it was found that most inmates were not comfortable speaking to administrative and police officers. She added an order will be issued soon in this regard.
The decision has created a flutter amongst activists. Dolon Ganguly,a woman activist working with an NGO,Jibika Development,said: I think the concept is vague. It is not right to keep DMs wives on those committees.
A stricture,too,has been issued for such homes. There will be a CCTV at each of them,an alarm will also be in place that can be used in case of any emergency. The supervisor’s visit,which was monthly,will now be done weekly, said Mitra.
There are 27 privately-run asylums and 28 government ones. I will visit each one of those over the weekend, said Mitra.
She said she had called a meeting with NGOs running such homes and the home superintendents on July 27.
A team of CID officers led by Special Superintendent of Police (HQ) Shankar Chakraborty,meanwhile,visited Gurap on Monday.
Sources said the team interrogated Udai Chand Kumar,secretary of the home,who is in police custody. The main accused,Shyamal Ghosh,however,is still absconding.
The CID team will also find out if last week’s case was an isolated one or whether there had been such cases earlier. It has been alleged that there could be similar cases where inmates had been killed and buried. So far no bodies have been recovered, said an official.