As India's city of dreams ; Mumbai still reels under the shame of rampant female molestation on New Year's Eve, the home department, headed by Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil, is making moves to dub molestation a ' non-bailable offence'.
Two women were molested outside JW Marriott hotel in Juhu on New Year. The incident which was caught on video by Hindustan Times photographers set off a nationwide outrage .
The state government is expected to forward the home department's proposal to the Centre later this week. "This issue has been on my mind for some time and we even got the proposal cleared a month back," Patil was quoted.
"Now, we will ensure it is forwarded to the Centre for speedy clearance", he added. Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule, who called on Patil seeking stern action in the molestation case, commended the move.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has also blamed "outsiders' for the Juhu molestation. "These boys (the accused) are from good families. They tried to rescue women in distress", he vouches.
Yesterday a Mumbai court had directed the police to issue notices to all the 14 accused. This follows a revision application filed against the granting of bail to them.
Prosecutor RR Kini pleaded the police be given a chance for investigation as they had not been given custody of the accused, released from the jail on January 8.
On January 3, a Metropolitan Magistrate's Court had granted bail to the accused hours after they were arrested in connection with the molestation of two NRI women by a mob of around 50 people outside the five-star hotel in suburban Juhu . The photographers filmed the incident and then called the police.
According to media persons, even film celebrities are not given the slip by eve-teasers. Stars such as Bipasha Basu , Kim Sharma, Koena Mitra and Esha Deol have had to deal with such elements.