Steps against department after DC's report: SHRC

Alleged harassment of DYFI activists by Department of Women and Child Welfare

 Responding to a complaint by the DYFI District President Munir Katipalla during a grievances hearing meeting held at DC’s office here on Thursday that the Women and Child Welfare Department Deputy Director is forcing the anganwadi workers to file cases against the Federation activists, Justice Nayak said he has already asked for a report from the DC regarding the developments.

“The SHRC took a suo moto step after learning the issue and asked the DC to give a report. Once he submits the report, the next step will be taken considering your report too,” he assured.

It can be recalled here that the DYFI activists had exposed stocks of expired energy food packets in anganwadi centres that were meant for children and expectant mothers earlier this month. Munir alleged that the Deputy Director of Women and Child Welfare Department is trying to save her face by motivating the anganwadi workers to file cases against the activists for entering the centres.

“Even the Deputy Commissioner and the Additional DC had appreciated our work. Now, instead of taking up corrective measures, the Department Deputy Director is harassing us,” he complained.

Justice Nayak said he could not take actions without looking into the entire episode, since he should examine both sides of the case. However, he advised the activists not to be deterred by the discouraging factors coming in the way of their struggle for justice. “Don’t stop your struggle just for the reason that you are not getting immediate results. Struggle plays a vital role in upholding justice. Continue with your mission within the legal boundaries,” he said.

In response to a complaint by Melwyn Pinto, the President of Janadhwani People’s Union for Civil Liberties, that many officials in the district are corrupt and there is no safe environment for minorities here, the SHRC Chairman asked him (Pinto) to give specific cases, if any.

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