Chairperson of National Commission for Women to examine Darjeeling

Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of National Commission for Women
Siliguri: Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of National Commission for Women, will be in the Darjeeling hills for three days from Sunday to examine allegations of abuse by law-enforcers during the statehood agitation last year.
Sources said Sharma's visit followed complaints to the commission by some residents who claimed violation of women's rights and police atrocities during and after the statehood agitation. The Bimal Gurung lobby of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had levelled allegations of abuse against its women members by security forces.
After arriving in Bagdogra, Sharma will stay in Kurseong and meet common people, including some of the complainants. The next day, she will go to Mirik and meet some families there.
"The chairperson will also visit jails, conduct an inquiry into police atrocities and examine cases where women have been named as accused and are behind bars. There are reports that many women, arrested during the agitation, are in correctional homes for six months or more," said a source.

Sharma will visit Darjeeling and Kalimpong and return to Delhi on April 18. Recently, a Darjeeling resident had accused a police offer of threatening to torture women members of his family, following which a complaint was sent to the commission.
"There are some other incidents which have come to the knowledge of the commission. That is why the chairperson's visit is important," the source added.
The allegations had prompted Darjeeling MP and Union minister S.S. Ahluwalia to accuse the state police of violating human rights, specifically those of women supporters of the Morcha, then headed by Gurung.
As the shutdown continued in hills, a number of women supporters and leaders of the party were arrested by the police for perpetrating violence. Many of them are still behind bars.

The Telegraph

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