Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) chairperson Rupali Chakankar has asked the state home department to set up a panel to find out if women are missing from the state and submit a report every fortnight on its progress.
Between January 1 and March 31 this year, 3,594 women went missing, and some of them were traced. It is a serious matter that women and girls are going missing from the state, Chakankar said on Monday.
She was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Special Inspector General of Police (women and child crime prevention) Deepak Pandey, the state home department’s assistant secretary Rahul Kulkarni, MSCW deputy chairperson Deepa Thakur, and legal expert Virendra Neve.
A statement issued by the MSCW said Chakankar has instructed the home department to set up a search committee for the missing women, and the department should submit a report every fortnight about the panel’s progress.
She said no police officials are part of the existing search committees for missing women. “Between January 1 and March 31 this year, 3,594 women went missing, and some of them were traced. It is still a serious matter. Two agents from the Sakinaka area of Mumbai have been booked for luring women and sending them abroad. However, the cartel is huge, and strong action is needed,” Chakankar said.
The bharosa cell and missing cell are active only on paper, she said. “It is a serious matter that women and girls are going missing from the state. Among the missing girls and women, a sizable number are those in the age group of 16 to 35 years,” Chakankar said.
There have been instances where missing women, if not tracked immediately, were found in West Asian countries, she said. Women from 82 families in the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas have gone abroad and are now untraceable. There is no contact with them, she added.