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Nayanar's Assurance to Muslim Women Delegation
By Mukundan C. Menon, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala Chief Minister E. K. Nayanar assured a delegation of Muslim women, representing Jama'at-e-Islami Hind, that his government will initiate steps to modify laws dealing with atrocities on women to ensure speedy justice. The team led by women's' wing President Fatima Moosa met Nayanar recently to submit a memorandum in connection with their ongoing campaign to halt atrocities against women, following the dastardly rape incident amidst last month's violence at Nadapuram in Kozhicode district.
The team delegates later said that Nayanar had reminded them that law alone could not protect women from atrocities. In addition to legal measures, greater social awareness should be created among the public on the issue, the Chief Minister opined. Nayanar also asked them to rally women against publications which maligned the reputation of women in society.

The memorandum submitted to the chief minister, in particular, drew his attention on large-scale crude and unauthorized abortions taking place in utter violation of basic norms of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in many hospitals within Kerala. The government should initiate stringent actions against such hospitals and clinics who carry out illegal abortions. There should be strict restrictions in granting permission for MTP to hospitals, since too many hospitals are being permitted to carry out MTP now.
The memorandum also pointed out that erosion of moral values and promiscuity in society had led to spread of dreaded diseases like AIDS and urged for steps to inculcate moral values among people.

The memorandum also complained that Nayanar Government had not succeeded in effectively implementing the arrack ban, which resulted in recent hooch tragedy killing around 40 people in Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram districts.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Jamaath Council has urged the LDF Government to enforce total prohibition in the State. Its state president, K. A. Hassan, and General Secretary, A. Pookunju, told a press meet that the jamaaths have been instructed to oust Muslims who deal in or distribute liquor.

Disclosing details of Council's 20th State Conference held here last week, they said that the Conference protested against the Government's indifference in not booking those responsible for violence and harassment of women in Nadapuram last month. ‘Those who proclaimed themselves as protectors of the minority have become the destroyers. Action should be taken against the legislators who led the violence.’ The Council also urged all secular forces, including the Communists and Congress, to unite under one banner to protect the unity and integrity of the country and to maintain its secular nature, and asked those concerned to abandon the idea of floating a third front. 
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