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Crime against NRI women growing: NCW

By Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
January 09, 2006 17:21 IST
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National Commission for Women chairperson Girija Vyas on Monday expressed concern over the increasing incidence of harassment and crimes against non resident women.

Chairing a session on 'Gender Issues of the Diaspora' at the 4th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2006 in Hyderabad, Vyas said over 1,000 complaints were received from NRI women complaining of harassment and other offences against them.

There was also a spurt in the number of 'marriage frauds' where NRI women were the victims. Similarly, Indian women working as housemaids and in other jobs in the Gulf were exposed to sexual abuse.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2006

This is the first time that the subject of "gender issues" was taken up at the PBD.

Vyas disclosed that the central government would introduce amendments to the law incorporating stringent punishment for the rape accused.

The bill would be taken up in the ensuing Parliament session.

He said the NCW had already submitted a report to the Union Home Ministry on the need for clothing the laws relating to rape with more teeth and suggested amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil were in favour of the amendments.

There were lacunae in the present law dealing with the accused in rape cases, she said and pointed out that there was ambiguity about certain clauses of the present act, particularly with regard to cases of rape of minor girls. Accused in these cases were being acquitted on some technical counts. These loopholes would be plugged while making amendments to the CrPC.

Dr Ranjana Kumari, national general secretary of the Mahila Dakshata Samithi, expressed concern over growing harassment cases against NRI women.

While some women were deserted in India by their NRI husbands after marriage who demanded more dowry, some other women were subjected to harassment after they were taken abroad.

Vyas suggested setting up a gender cell in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to deal with gender issues of NRIs.

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Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad