The CPI(M) has accused the BJP-led central government of lacking the political will to deal with crimes against women.
Reacting to the latest report of the National Crimes Records Bureau, showing a steady increase in crimes against women and an alarming rise in sexual assaults on children, former CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has said the “figures highlight the all-round failure to provide a safe and secure environment for women and children, a promise made by the BJP in its (2014) Lok Sabha election manifesto”.
“The main issue is the lack of the political will to deal with the crimes against women. The government and the law enforcement agencies must accord priority to tackle the crimes against women and children,” he has written in an editorial in the upcoming edition of the party organ, “People’s Democracy”.
He has added that the Centre must implement the Verma Committee recommendations to build a strong infrastructure to prevent the crimes against women and support the victims.
The Left leader has also criticised the Centre for “not utilising” the Nirbhaya Fund, which was was set up in 2015 to build an infrastructure and mechanisms to prevent crimes against women.
“The fund now has Rs 3,100 crore. The nodal agency for this fund, the women and child development ministry, had said in July that it had recommended projects worth Rs 2,209 crore. But in a petition to the Supreme Court, the Centre has admitted that the actual allocations were just Rs 264 crore, in other words, just 8.5 per cent (of the fund).
“Apart from this, Rs 200 crore were allocated to the states for victim-relief, making it a total of around Rs 400 crore. However, there is no report on the utilisation of these funds,” he has written in the editorial.
Karat has also held the “social approach” of the government and the “dominant ideologies” of those in power responsible for the increase in the crimes against women.
He has also criticised the statements of political leaders, blaming the women for the violence against them, and comments about their clothes, movements and friends and said such remarks shame the victims and encourage the criminals.
The CPI(M) leader has stressed that the statements of members of Parliament and state legislatures, blaming the women for the crimes against them, must not only be condemned, but those people must be held accountable for such statements by the legislatures concerned.
He has also emphasised that there has to be strict implementation of the laws against sexual harassment.