NEW DELHI: Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recommending regular inspection of ashrams and religious centers housing women, in the backdrop of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's conviction in a rape case recently.
Maliwal said all ashrams which house followers should register such centers with the district authorities, and a failure to ensure the same should attract strict penal action.
In her letter to the prime minister, the DCW chief said the case (of Dera chief) may be "reflective of a larger malaise" and recommended that strict guidelines and laws be framed and implemented to check illegal activities (if any) in some religious institutions housing women across the country.
She said that every institution be it shelter homes, old age homes and children homes are monitored by courts, commissions, welfare bodies and the government.
"However, it appears that similar checks and balances are not in place for ashrams and other religious institutions in the country having residential complexes.
"Therefore, it is the need of the hour that safeguards are put in place to ensure that women remain protected in such institutions," read the letter.