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Aizawl: Mizoram has a total of 52 child care institutions (CCI), which is disproportionate to the state’s total population of more than 11 lakh, Mizoram State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) chairperson Sangzuali Vanchhawnga said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a sensitisation programme on child rights and related issues being organised for media persons on Tuesday, Vanchhawng said the main reason behind the excess number of CCIs was due to the misconception on the part of parents that their children are safe in observation homes.

She said that many parents sent their children to CCIs under the pretext of poverty. Many children, who came out of broken families, were also sent to CCIs, she added.

Vanchhawng alleged that most of the institutions admitted inmates beyond their capacity in violation of laws.

While some CCIs have the capacity of 100 inmates, they usually admitted more than 170 inmates, she said. She said many of the CCIs are being run with poor infrastructure and facilities and most of their rooms were fully congested. She added that a total of 953 inmates are currently being lodged at 52 CCIs across the state.

According to the chairperson, many of the institutions, especially sponsored by churches, used to keep children who crossed the age of 18 years and failed to restore to their families. According to law, an inmate should be restored to his/her families on attainment of 18 years, she said.

The MSCPCR was constituted in March last year based on National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. It is an autonomous body currently being manned by a chairperson, three members and a member secretary.

The commission on Tuesday wrote to the superintendent of police of Champhai district, seeking his intervention against reports of the names of juvenile accused, who has been allegedly involved in a street brawl in Khawzawl town in the district on Sunday, which was circulated on social media.

On Sunday, a group of juvenile allegedly assaulted a 16-year-old student, who succumbed to his injuries an hour after the incident. At least eight people, six of them juvenile, were arrested in connection with the incident.

The commission stated that names and identity of the juvenile accused were circulated on social media, which seems to have originated from the police report in view of the writing style and its content.

Stating that the disclosure of identity of the juvenile accused is a blatant violation of Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, the commission asked the SP to find out the people responsible for disseminating the identities of the juvenile accused and take disciplinary action against them.

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