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Maharashtra govt bans mobile phones in schools

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Nagpur: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that State government has decided to ban use of cellphones in school premises.

Fadnavis was replying to a call attention motion raised by BJP MLCs Uma Khapre, Pravin Darekar, Nago Ganar and Prasad Lad.

Informing the House about the decision, on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that use of cellphones in school premises had been banned and instructions in this regard had been issued.

He further said that secretaries of Home Department and Education Department would conduct a meeting to chalk out a plan to inspect the growing number of shops, cafeterias and presence of anti-socials near schools across the State.

“A teenage girl student was sexually assaulted in the classroom by two students of Std VIII in a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) school in Matunga in the first week of December. Similarly, body of a nine-year-old girl was thrown near Kalyan railway station after raping her.”MLC Khapre said.

Raising the issue of growing usage of cellphones among the teenagers, Khapre said, “These teenagers are accessing obscene video content on internet through cellphones.

As a result, they are getting attracted to violence and revenge. Khapre cited the opinion of psychiatrists and claimed that mobile jammers should be installed in school premises.

Highlighting the importance of safety of school-going girls, Khapre also opined that the government should constitute a Task Force to provide protection to the girl students.

MLC Darekar said that the number of paan and cigarette shops were growing near school premises where anti-socials lured girls by offering them chocolates. Darekar also stated that meeting of parents’ committee, school administration and police should be conducted every month to draw proper action plans.

Leader of Opposition (LoP) and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Ambadas Dane raised an issue of installation of CCTV footage and described his observation about growing 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.

MLC and Congress leader Shashikant raised the issue of proper audit of school van drivers.

In a reply, Fadnavis stated that a plan to put checks on the illegal ecosystem would be chalked out in the meeting of the two secretaries. The government will see to install CCTVs in each school of the State in phases, he said.

Fadnavis further informed about measures being taken by the State government which include equipping Cyber Laboratories with latest technology to effectively investigate cyber related complaints.

A Cyber Intelligence Unit has been proposed to deal with cyber crimes. Activities like “Police Didi”are being implemented in the state to educate the teenagers about good touch and bad touch, the State Home Minister added.

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