SHILLONG, April 22: Thma U Rangli Juki (TUR) which initiated a public discussion on women and children have decided to approach the Chief Minister and the Home Minister to ask for timelines designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in cases of crime against children in the State.
The public discussion was organized to unite voices against hate crimes, moral policing and violence against women & children at Bethany Society Hall in Shillong.
According to Angela Rangad of TUR, timelines which have been defined under POCSO for completion of investigation and other matters have not been followed in Marvelene Inn case.
In addition, the meeting also opined that cases of crime against women and children should not be taken to District Council Courts as it becomes one more level of struggle for the victim even as the participants felt that the cases of crime against women and children should be taken directly to District and Session Court or the fastback courts and later the higher courts.
The meeting also stressed on the need for the education department to ensure that necessary programmes are rolled out about gender sensitization in educational institutions with proper counseling and safety policies and mechanism for the children.
Earlier, The Shillong Times Editor, Patricia Mukhim while addressing the meeting spoke about the recent incident where a petrol bomb was thrown at her residence. She added that there is too much hate and there should be talks to sort out any issue.
She also said that a lot of hate crimes have been reported in the country while mentioning that 97 percent of the hate crimes in the country from 2014 to 2017 have been directed against the Muslims. According to Mukhim, the cyber crime cell in Meghalaya is not effective even while pointing out that digitalized world is making people crazy.
Stating that those in media who make their views openly are the soft targets, she also underlines the importance of providing a platform to the people to speak up
Mantre Passah from (TUR) who spoke about moral policing and social media said that certain section of IT laws are weak and often misused in the name of free speech and often the target in social media is women and children.
CSWO president, Agnes Kharshiing said that there are many unreported cases of rape in the State itself .
She also lamented the fact that many institutions like police and social welfare do not act when it comes to the filing of report for crime against women and children.