New Delhi: Weeks after a 12-year-old house help was found dead under inexplicable circumstances at the home of an Arunachal Pradesh lawmaker, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will begin a series of pan-India hearings to address grievances pertaining to the protection of child rights.
One of the first of such hearings will be held in the Northeastern state.
A two-member NCPCR bench will be in Arunachal’s Namsai district on June 21 for the purpose. People from the adjoining districts of Lohit, Anjaw, Tirap, Changlang, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, East Siang, Upper Siang, Longdung and Siang have been invited to participate in the programme. The administration of each district is responsible for publicising the occasion and organise logistics for transport of participants.
Other than writing to different district administrations, the NCPCR has also welcomed NGOs registered on the Darpan portal of NITI Aayog to come forward with cases of violations of child rights.
In a telephone interview with EastMojo, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo emphasised, “The commission is very strict about upholding children’s rights and won’t tolerate any violation. We will ensure that strict action is taken against perpetrators.”
Sources informed EastMojo that the NCPCR is very serious about expanding its reach in the region through its Northeastern cell. However, the commission head expressed his disappointment with the subdued response the exercise has received so far from NGOs working in Arunachal.
“We have been unable to reach most NGOs in the state. It seems that they aren’t actually very active on the ground,” rued Kanoongo.
The next such hearing in the region will be held in Mizoram’s Mamit district in the first fortnight of next month.
The sittings will be held in a phased manner. In the first phase, the bench will be visiting 50 divisions containing at least one district from the 115 ‘aspirational districts’ identified by the government think tank NITI Aayog.
“We have invited complainants from the 250 adjacent districts. We propose to cover all 727 districts of the country by 2021,” asserted Kanoongo.
The ‘aspirational districts’ are based on key performance indicators (KPI)s across parameters like health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure.
Itanagar SP summoned in 12-year girl’s death
The body of a pre-teen girl was reportedly discovered hanging from the ceiling of the Janata Dal (United) legislator Techi Kaso’s home on May 20. The tribal girl was the daughter of a couple who was working in the Kaso household for the past three decades.
It is alleged that all the evidence was frenetically destroyed and the deceased quietly buried soon after the discovery of her body. Following a hue and cry, the NCPCR became involved in the case. And it was at the commission’s insistence that the girl’s corpse was exhumed earlier this month to determine the exact cause of her death.
“A child died and the matter went almost unreported. Even the police failed to register an FIR. Therefore, the commission took suo moto cognisance of the matter. As we aren’t satisfied with the police’s action taken report (ATR), the matter needs to be investigated further,” informed Kanoongo.
The commission has summoned the Itanagar superintendent of police to New Delhi on June 19.
When contacted by EastMojo, Itanagar SP Tumme Amo denied having received a copy of the summons.
Established by an act of Parliament in 2005, the NCPCR has the mandate to inquire into violations of child rights, non-implementation of laws providing for protection and development of children and examine factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights by children under various circumstances. The body is also the monitoring authority of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Right to Education Act, 2012, and POCSO Act, 2012.
The commission takes note of complaints and representations received through different modes including by post, email, POCSO e-Box and through its online complaint registration system, E-baalnidaan.