Did not say cellphones cause for rapes: Panel

Did not say cellphones cause for rapes: Panel

Unanimous on banning them in schools

Did not say cellphones cause for rapes: Panel

A panel of legislators in the State is of the strong and unanimous view that students should not be allowed to use cellphones till they understand the advantages and disadvantages of the gadget. The report has already attracted a lot of media attention.

The 24 legislators, who have recommended to the government to ban the use of cellphones by students in schools and colleges, are of the view that till children are mature enough to understand the use of the gadget for their personal growth, they should not be allowed to waste time in classes by twiddling with the instrument.

The Legislature Committee on Women and Child Welfare, headed by Congress MLA Shakuntala Shetty, on Friday submitted its report to the legislature. The panel has legislators representing all three major parties. There is no dissenting voice among the panel members, when it comes to making this particular recommendation among various others.

When contacted by Deccan Herald on Saturday to find out what made the panel recommend a ban on the use of cellphones by students in schools and colleges, Shetty said, “We have come across various incidents where children are being misled by strangers over phone. But we have nowhere said in the report that usage of cellphone is leading to rape or atrocity. But a section of the media is making baseless allegations against the panel.”

Shetty said that it is the duty of parents to educate their children regarding the positive and negative aspects of the use of cell phones. “There are many cases to prove how innocent girls are lured by strangers over phone and discard them after harming them. Cases of girl children and women going missing are increasing across the State.

Indiscriminate use of the gadget is leading to crime. Also, listening to music or talking through the earphones is not good for health. School students should focus on studies and not play games or send messages,” she said.

Vadnal Rajanna, Congress MLA, member on the panel said that it is a common knowledge how the youths are getting mislead because of extensive usage of internet on cell phones. “Everyone known as to why crime rate is increasing nowadays. Usage of the gadget has become a menace. Forget teenagers, even pre-teens are all the time either talking to someone or messaging or watching porn stuff on the Net. Playing games on the Net is also very common. Students are wasting time as well as getting misguided. Hence, the panel members unanimously recommended the ban of usage of phone in educational institutions,” he said.

Bharati Shetty, former BJP MLC who was a member of the panel, said cellphones are no doubt a good communication tool. But students need not use them as they will not be able to concentrate on studies.

“I did not allow my daughter to have a cellphone till she joined MBA course. I have come across many cases in Shimoga where young girls have fallen into bad company, thanks to contacts they develop with strangers over cellphones. Crime rate has definitely gone up due to watching vulgar pictures and videos on the Net. For emergency, children can always use coin booth phones. In educational institutions, cellphones should be strictly banned,” she added.

When reporters sought the views of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the panel’s recommendation for banning the use of cellphones, he said, “I have not got any proposal regarding this. I will take a call after I get it. It is too early for me to comment.”

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