AP Women Commission's notice to Naidu sparks row

Vijayawada, April 23 (IANS) A notice served to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu by the state women's commission following Friday's incident when he had gone to meet a gang-rape victim at a government hospital here has sparked a row.
 
AP Women Commission's notice to Naidu sparks row

Vijayawada, April 23 (IANS) A notice served to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu by the state women's commission following Friday's incident when he had gone to meet a gang-rape victim at a government hospital here has sparked a row.

Women's Commission Chairperson Vasireddy Padma issued notices to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president Naidu and another TDP leader Bonda Uma for outraging and insulting her modesty while the main opposition party has slammed her for misusing her office to issue notices when they had gone to the hospital to demand justice for the victim.

Uproarious scenes were witnessed at Government Hospital Vijayawada when Naidu, who is leader of opposition in State Assembly, visited the hospital to meet a mentally challenged woman, who was gang-raped by three employees of the hospital.

Vasireddy Padma, who was already at the hospital to meet the victim, had to face an angry protest by TDP supporters, who raised slogans asking her to go back. There was reportedly an argument between Naidu and Padma.

By evening, both Naidu and Bonda Uma were issued notices by Padma under Section 14(1) of A.P. Women's Commission Act 1998. Both have been directed to appear before the Commission on April 27 to give explanation.

According to the notice issued to TDP chief, when the chairperson was visiting the hospital, Naidu came to the place at the same time along with "your henchmen and wanted only created galata and tense atmosphere, made patients panic and also used abusive language with tyranny by outraging and insulting modesty of the Hon'ble Chairperson, A.P. Women's Commission and misbehaved being a responsible person", the notice read.

A similar notice was issued to Bonda Uma, a former MLA.

Meanwhile, TDP has reacted strongly to the notices. "Will you issue notices demanding justice to the victim," asked Uma. He said the TDP would approach the High Court and other Constitutional institutions against what he called misuse of powers by the chairperson of the commission at the behest of the ruling party. He said they would demand removal of Padma from the post.

Meanwhile, Padma also addressed a news conference on Saturday to defend her action. She alleged that the TDP leaders behaved with the victim in an inhuman manner. She maintained that the Commission has the powers to issue notices.

"Notices are not new. Every week, the Commission issues such notices to 50-60 persons," she said, adding that they can't keep quiet if TDP politicises an issue relating to a serious crime.

A 23-year-old mentally challenged woman was gang-raped by three contract employees of Government General Hospital by confining her to a room in the hospital for 30 hours.

The victim's family alleged that lack of action by the police on her complaint about her disappearance led to the shocking incident.

After Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered stringent action in the case, Director General of Police suspended two police officers of Nunna Police Station for dereliction of duty.

The chief minister announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to the victim and directed the health department to take strong action against the hospital officials found negligent in discharge of their duties.

Police have arrested all the three accused, who have also been dismissed from their jobs at the hospital.

--IANS

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