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Don’t give mobile phones to daughters, says U.P. women’s panel member

She later denies having said that if girls used phones, they would elope.

A member of the Uttar Pradesh Women’s Commission has triggered a row after she said that girls should not be given mobile phones as they use the device to talk to boys and later elope with them.

Speaking in the context of crimes against women, Meena Kumari said society and parents have to keep a regular watch on their daughters, see where they were going and which boys they were mingling with.

“I appeal people to not give mobiles to their daughters and if they give them [mobiles], then check them regularly,” Ms. Kumari told reporters.

Ms. Kumari also controversially remarked that girls use mobile phones to talk [to boys] and the matter reaches a point “where they elope for marriage”.

After her comments were widely criticised on social media, Ms. Kumari said her words had been misconstrued. She said she meant that parents should check the phones given to minor boys and girls used by them for study and other purposes. She denied that she had said if girls used phones, they would elope. She further said that she was referring to a specific case that had come before her but did not provide details.

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