Maharashtra: Deputy CM flags "growing ecosystem" of illegal paan shops and anti-social elements near schools

Fadnavis stated in a written reply that the government was taking remedial measures and further plans would be chalked out soon
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis | (Pic: PTI)
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis | (Pic: PTI)

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday, December 21, flagged a "growing ecosystem" of paan shops, cafeterias and the presence of anti-social elements near schools. He added that remedial measures are being taken.

Fadnavis, who holds the Home portfolio, was responding to a calling attention motion moved by some BJP MLCs in the Legislative Council against the backdrop of an alleged sexual attack on a girl student in a civic-run school in Mumbai. The Deputy CM said there needs to be a plan to root out these threatening elements, as per a report by PTI.

"Secretaries of the Department of Home and the Department of Education would meet to chalk out a plan to inspect the growing ecosystem of paan shops, cafeterias and the presence of anti-social elements near schools in the state," Fadnavis stated in a written reply. MLC Pravin Darekar added that meetings of the parents' committee, school administration and police should be conducted every month to draw proper action plans.

Tapping into the thread of discussions

"A teenage girl student was sexually assaulted in the classroom by two students of Class VIII in a civic-run school in Matunga in the first week of December. Similarly, a nine-year-old girl was raped and her body thrown near Kalyan Railway Station," MLC Uma Khapre said.

"The use of mobile phones is on the rise among teenagers. These teenagers are accessing obscene videos on the Internet through mobile phones. As a result, they are getting attracted to violence and revenge," she added and demanded the constitution of a task force to protect school-going girl students.

Therefore, among other measures, Fadnavis reiterated that the use of mobile phones was prohibited on the premises of schools and the respective management had been instructed to ensure this. Later, Darekar said the number of shops selling paans and cigarettes was growing and anti-social elements gathered at these places lured girls by offering them chocolates.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition (LoP) and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Ambadas Danve spoke about mushrooming of cafeterias near schools in Akola and Beed districts. "These cafeterias are offering covered space for young girls and boys," he claimed and demanded stern action.

Fadnavis replied, "The government will seek to install CCTVs in each school of the state in phases. He then informed about the measures being taken by the state government in this regard, which include equipping cyber laboratories with the latest technology to effectively investigate cyber-related complaints, as per PTI.

"A Cyber Intelligence Unit has been proposed to deal with cyber crimes. Activities like Police Didi are being implemented in the state to educate teenagers about good touch and bad touch. Obscene texts and videos are being blocked on the internet by the Union government. A total of 238 offences have been registered for publishing obscene material on the Internet under the Information Technology Act till the end of October this year," he said.

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