Walk to Delhi : Section 498A is tool of extortion

MANGALURU: A social activist from Athani taluk of Belagavi district will take out a padayatra from Belagavi to New Delhi to uphold the cause of men who suffer due to misuse of IPC Section 498A by women.

Santoshkumar B Potdar said he will cover the 2,500km distance by walk to impress upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement amendments to prevent the misuse of IPC 498A by women. The section that deals with crime against women by husband or his relatives and sentences them to jail has been misused by women often who level false charges.

Quoting statistics of 2010 available with the National Crime Records Bureau, he said, a harassed husband commits suicide every nine minutes in India.

He wants IPC Section 498A to be made gender neutral by replacing the word ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’ so that the law benefits both genders. In addition, he also wants the government to set up a National Commission for Men and a separate ministry for the welfare of men.

He will commence his padayatra from Thelasanga village in Belagavi on January 30 and reach New Delhi after walking 2,500km on May 3. “Husbands, who are harassed by wives with the help of Section 498A, go through a great deal of mental agony and are often forced to commit suicide. I will bring the issue of misuse of law by women to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee,” Potdar said adding that he was a victim of the IPC section.

“Many victims of IPC Section 498A have agreed to join me in my fight. Cops register cases immediately when women approach police stations. However, men face difficulties in getting their complaints registered. I want the government to set up a National Commission for Men too,” Potdar said.

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