Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the western zonal council meeting in Diu on Saturday with Pramod Sawant and Bhupendra Patel, the Chief Ministers of Goa and Gujarat, and Praful K. Patel, the administrator of the Union Territory of Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was not present at the meeting. The State was represented by Industries Minister Subhash Desai instead. Mr. Desai said in a tweet that he raised the issue of granting classical language status to Marathi for which over one lakh letters had been written to the President of India. He said Mr. Shah had assured him that he would sort out the issue.
A press statement issued by the Home Ministry said Mr. Shah stressed the need for early investigation of rape and sexual offences against women and children and stringent punishment in a time-bound manner.
Mr. Shah said additional Director General of Police-level officers, if possible women officers, should be entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the investigation into all such cases in the police headquarters of each State.
The regional councils provide a forum for discussion in a structured manner on issues affecting one or more States or issues between the Centre and the States, the Ministry said.
Of the 30 topics discussed in the meeting, 27 issues were resolved and only three are left for further discussion.
More postal banking facilities
The Department of Posts will introduce additional 20,715 India Post Payment Bank Live Touch Points, which will provide banking facilities in addition to regular postal services.
“Co-operative banks and other banks, including India Post Payments Bank, should ensure that every unbanked village in the western region is provided with banking facilities within five kms within the next year,” Mr. Shah said.
He added that all villages in the western region should have mobile connectivity within a year and private players could be roped in.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said he sought Home Ministry’s assistance regarding verification of fishermen and the requested the UIDAI to keep the portal open to upload the details of additional fishermen who would come during next fishing season. “Goa being a coastal State is more vulnerable to crime like smuggling from sea and other routes. Sought assistance from Union Govt for better equipment for coastal patrol, mobile forensic labs, cyber labs in Goa,” Mr. Sawant said in a tweet.