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Home dept to conduct inquiry of state women's hostels:HC

By Staff
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Mumbai, May 4 (UNI) The Bombay High Court, while rejecting the bail plea of seven accused in the alleged rape of a 26-year old woman in Kolhapur, today directed the State's Home department to conduct an inquiry into the hostels for 'women in distress' across Maharashtra.

The bail applications of the seven accused came up before Justice V M Kanade.

The court held that the inquiry into 20 such hostels in Maharashtra be conducted by judicial magistrates in the concerned areas.

According to the rules, no male employees are allowed to reside in the hostel. But Vasant Pawar, the main accused charged with the rape of the woman, lived and worked in the hostel as a junior caretaker.

He allegedly committed the crime first in February and then in March this year. After the first incident, the victim complained to Ms Shinde, senior care-taker. But instead of helping her, Shinde slapped her and asked her to return to her room.

When the victim, who had been disowned by her husband and also her parents and in-laws, approached the authorities after the second incident of rape, they asked her to accept Pawar's advances as she didn't have a husband anyway.

However, she met a woman who had come to visit the hostel, whose husband was in the Women's Protection Cell and confided into her.

The lady took the victim to the police station and an FIR was filed, leading to the arrest of the seven people, including Pawar and Shinde.

Soon after, the seven accused were suspended by the Women and Child Welfare Department.

UNI XR-ARM KD SHB BD1949

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