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Was Jitendra Awhad wrong? Is social responsibility a crime?

Jitendra Awhad-AV

NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad who received flak for taking law into his hands for supervising the beating of the accused responsible for molesting a 19 old girl defended himself and said that it was his responsibility to provide security to women residing in his constituency. He added that today women feel insecure in the city hence people must come forward to safeguard them. Awhad said an incident had occurred in Aurangabad where a girl was harassed by a stalker. The accused also used to torture the girl’s parents as her father committed suicide. Awhad wanted to avert the repetition of similar incident in his constituency hence he had intervened in this matter.

He said, “A 19 year old girl who lived nearby my locality was harassed by a local goon since last four months. He used to click her photos at Marine Drive. As a result of this the victim was undergoing severe depression and she was under medication for overcoming stress. The girl’s father is a rickshaw driver and mother is employed as a maid.”

Residents of Kalwa had approached Awhad and urged him to take action against the accused. The victim, who lives in a nearby locality and her alleged harasser were called on Monday night to Awhad’s office, where the accused was “taught a lesson” by the girl and the supporters of the Kalwa-Mumbra legislator, the post enclosed with the video stated. The alleged molester was handed over to the police after being “punished” by the victim, who is also a college student, the post said. The video had gone viral after the lawmaker uploaded the clip on social media.

“If I had not taken this step then the victim may have ended her life. I also was worried that her father might commit suicide hence I intervened in this matter. Today women are not safe anywhere hence it’s our responsibility to provide security to them,” said Awhad.

“Everyday women have to undergo harassment and they also become victims of molestation incidents. Through this act, I wanted to teach a lesson to molestors who may rethink about committing such offences in future. The double standards of media is bothering me which publish stories without verifying facts,” he added.

The molester was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday after the victim lodged a complaint alleging that he made sexual advances at her often and molested her, police said.

PSI AD Gangavane of Naupada police station said the youth has been booked under sections 354(a)(b) and 506 of the IPC and section 12 of the POCSO Act 2012.

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