Sobha Oza resigns as MP women s rights panel head

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Bhopal, June 25

Madhya Pradesh Women's Commission (MPWC) chairperson Sobha Oza has resigned from her post alleging interference from the BJP-led state government and biasness in handling cases of atrocities against women.

Oza claimed that she was forced to resign from the post.

Oza said that when she had joined the commission, there were 10,000 cases of atrocities against women in Madhya Pradesh; now these numbers have crossed 17,000. on the question why the commission remained silent despite crimes against women increased sharply in Madhya Pradesh, Oza said she was not allowed to discharge her duty.

"The commission was not allowed to function as per rules. Government nominated member has high influence and biasness in resolving cases against women atrocities. As per the rule, at least two members of the commission should be present during hearing of a case, but for the last two years, only government nominated member has been handling the cases. I tried my best to provide justice to the victims, but the government created hurdle," Oza said.

She further alleged that the government put pressure on the commission to take biased decision in cases in which BJP leaders or workers are accused. "They were trying to keep me out from the commission after BJP government came to power in March 2020. But, the high court ordered state government not to disturb MPWC's functioning," Oza added.

When asked why MPWC did not send notices to officials or influential persons involved in atrocities against women, she said the commission has always issued notices in every case, took suo motu cognizance, sought reports from the police, but each department is functioning under pressure.

Oza also alleged that the office of MPWC was locked by BJP supporters soon after the Congress government lost its power. "In March 2020, BJP workers had locked the commission's office, office bearers were pressurised not to follow chairperson's direction. The commission had been almost defunct for the last two years, which made me realise that I should resign. If I can't discharge my duty for which I am here, then why should I stay here," she said.

Oza said she will now fight for women on streets. "I will take the issue of atrocities against women and will expose the BJP government's bias," she stated.

"Being here in office, I was not allowed to reach out to women, but now I am free. I will raise their voice. Madhya Pradesh has become the hub of women trafficking. I won't need any post to discharge my duty for women," she added.

Oza, a Congress leader, is a prominent woman face in the party, who worked in several capacities before taking charge as chairperson of Madhya Pradesh Women's Commission in 2018.


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