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Jul 18, 2012 at 09:09am IST

Guwahati molestation: NCW an extension of the government?

New Delhi: Serious questions are being raised on the functioning of the National Commission for Women after its blunder of revealing the victim's name in the Guwahati molestation case, and on the many political appointments.

They are supposed to be the protectors, but Alka Lamba, sacked member of the NCW team and Congress member revealed the identity of the girl molested in Guwahati at a press conference. And if that wasn't enough, she defended her actions. Lamba may have been sacked on Monday, but the question as to why she was selected in the first place remains unanswered.

"When a person is sent, that person should have an idea of the basic principles, this is unacceptable," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman said.

Set up as a statutory body in January, 1992, the objective of the National Commission for Women was to provide a voice to the issues of women, but the NCW, over the last few years, experts say has not only failed in its role as a monitoring body of the government, but instead it seems to be increasingly an extension of the government in power.

Over the last few years the NCW Chairperson has had political connections. Dr Girija Vyas, who was the chairman from 2005 till 2011, is a Congress MP from Rajasthan.

In April 2011, Dr Yasmin Abrar took over as an acting chairperson of the commission. She was a Congress MLA from Sawai Madhopur. The current Chairperson Mamta Sharma represented the Congress in the Bundi district of Rajasthan.

Former member of the NCW Mohini Giri said, "Political appointments are ruining the institution."

Even as the nation is repeatedly confronted with the horror of Guwahati, the quesiton remains whether a professionally handled NCW would have handled the ugly fallout of the incident better.