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‘No Policemen Involved in Jalgaon Hostel Case’: Maha Home Minister

Deshmukh said a committee formed to look into the Jalgaon hostel incident found no police involvement. 

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Faced with a massive political backlash, the Maharashtra government on Thursday, 4 March, dismissed reports claiming that police personnel had entered a Jalgaon hostel and forced its female inmates to strip and dance.

Addressing media persons, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that a six member committee comprising female officers – formed to look into the matter – has submitted a report saying that no policemen were involved in the incident.

“On 20 February, female inmates had organised an entertainment programme, during which they sang, recited poetry and performed garba dance. During the garba dance, a woman, who was feeling uncomfortable, had taken-off her garba dress.”
Anil Deshmukh, Home Minister, Maharashtra

Labeling the allegations as false and baseless, Deshmukh said that the committee had found that the woman who had raised a complaint, was described as “mentally unstable” by her relatives and hostel inmates.

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“It has been found in the investigation that the complainant herself is mentally unstable. Hence, there’s no truth in media reports on the Jalgaon incident,” he said.

WHAT DID THE REPORTS SAY?

According to reports, several policemen had allegedly entered a shelter home for women in Jalgaon and forced them to strip and dance before them.

The incident came to the fore after a video of the incident went viral on social media, following which Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered a probe into the matter.

The incident took place in a shelter home called Ashadeep Women’s Hostel in Jalgaon’s Ganesh Colony.

Some policemen reportedly entered the hostel under the pretext of probing alleged illegal activities being conducted at the place.

They then allegedly asked a few girls living in the hostel to strip and dance before them and also recorded videos. The policemen also allegedly threatened the girls who resisted.

As word went out, some volunteers of the Jannayak Foundation reached the spot but weren’t allowed to enter the premises.

A few women then narrated their ordeal to the volunteers from the windows, after which they approached Jalgaon District Collector Abhishek Raut, who launched an investigation into the matter.

STORM IN MAHARASHTRA PARLIAMENT OVER INCIDENT

The incident rocked the ongoing Assembly session in Maharashtra on Wednesday, where BJP MP and former minister Sudhir Mungantiwar demanded President’s Rule in the state citing deteriorating law and order, which NCP MP Nawab Malik said was a threat being issued by the Opposition.

Former chief minister and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis backed the demand, saying the Opposition was in all its rights to demand so, considering the law and order situation in the state.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh told the House that a four-member committee has been formed to probe the matter and a report has been sought within two days time.

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