The chairperson of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW), Rupali Chakankar, has called for immediate action to address the alarming number of women and girls going missing in the state. In a recent meeting with officials from the state home department, Chakankar emphasized the need to establish a dedicated panel to track missing women and provide regular progress reports.
According to data from January 1 to March 31 of this year, a staggering 3,594 women have gone missing in Maharashtra. While efforts have been made to trace some of them, the situation remains deeply concerning. Chakankar stressed that it is crucial to address the issue promptly and effectively.
Chakankar highlighted the absence of police officials in the existing search committees for missing women and stressed the need to rectify this oversight. She underscored that the problem extends beyond the aforementioned period, as many missing women are still unaccounted for. Notably, recent incidents involving the luring and trafficking of women by agents from Mumbai’s Sakinaka area have exposed the scale of the problem.
Expressing her concerns, Chakankar emphasized that the current “bharosa cell” and “missing cell” are merely symbolic and lack substantive action. She stressed the urgent need for stronger measures and decisive action against the powerful cartel involved in such criminal activities.
Of particular concern is the significant number of missing girls and women aged between 16 and 35. Chakankar revealed that delayed tracking efforts have resulted in some missing women being discovered in West Asian countries. Moreover, she drew attention to the distressing situation of 82 families in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, where women have gone abroad and become untraceable, severing all contact.
To address this pressing issue, Chakankar has called upon the state home department to establish a dedicated search committee for missing women. She has also demanded that the department provide fortnightly progress reports on the panel’s activities. These steps aim to enhance coordination and ensure a more efficient and focused approach to locating missing women.
The rising cases of missing women in Maharashtra require immediate attention and concerted efforts from various stakeholders. The establishment of a dedicated panel, active participation of police officials, and regular reporting are essential to curb this alarming trend. The MSCW’s call for action serves as a reminder of the urgency in protecting the rights and safety of women and girls in the state.