Karnataka: Child rights commission pulls up Bidar cops, asks them to stop questioning kids in sedition case

Child rights commission of Karnataka has come down heavily on the district police for scores of violations, which include rules of Juvenile Justice Act

Karnataka: Child rights commission pulls up Bidar cops, asks them to stop questioning kids in sedition case
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NH Web Desk

Child rights commission of Karanataka has come down heavily on the district police for scores of violations, which include rules of Juvenile Justice Act. This comes after an inquiry into the interrogation of children by cops.

On January 30, police had arrested a widowed mother of nine year old student along with headmistress in a case of sedition over an anti CAA play in a school in Bidar.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSPCR) chairman Dr Antony Sebastian has sent a letter to Bidar officials, the SP and the deputy commissioner, with copies marked to the Karnataka DGP, stating that an “atmosphere of fear” was created at the Shaheen Primary School by the police probe. It has asked police to stop questioning the schoolchildren.

The panel also found out that administration officials had also violated norms by sending the nine year old child to the neighbour without intimating the local child welfare committee.

“After interactions with parents, school officials, children and the police, and after studying photographs and CCTV footage, it is clear that the police violated the rights of children at the school,’’ said Sebastian, a juvenile justice advocate, reported The Indian Express

“We have seen from pictures of the questioning of children that some policemen were present in uniform in violation of the law while some policemen were in civil clothes. When the children were being questioned, their parents or guardians should have been present,’’ Sebastian said.

“The inquiry has also found that a child whose parent was arrested was sent to the home of a neighbour without informing the child welfare committee in violation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000,” he said.

The official from the panel also asked that many students had not been going to the school after police began interrogating children as part of the probe into the sedition case over the drama that was staged on the school’s annual day on January 21.

KSPCR has asked cops in Bidar to bring the plight of the nine-year-old to the attention of the court where her mother Najibunnisa’s bail plea is pending.

Fareeda Begum, the headmistress and the mother of the nine-year-old were arrested by the police following a complaint filed on January 26 by local ABVP activist Nilesh Rakshyal against the play.

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