The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Wednesday urged director general of police (DGP) G.S. Rath to investigate police action against four minors in Jamshedpur earlier this month.
According to NCPCR state representative Ganesh Reddy, the incident took place in Jamshedpur’s Telco police station on July 3 and 4 when the police arrested four minors on charges of theft and kept them in the lock up for two days.
The matter did not end there. Photographs of the four children were taken and uploaded on a social networking site, in gross violation of Juvenile Justice Act norms.
The networking site account is the one operated by the police public relations committee.
“Telco police appear to have violated the Juvenile Justice Act. Therefore, I have urged the DGP to look into the incident and bring errant officers to book,” Reddy told The Telegraph.
According to the Juvenile Justice Act, minors can be released on bail by the officer in-charge himself. If the officer in-charge thinks that he cannot grant bail to the minor, then he has to keep the child in a remand home and not in a lock up. Further, the minor has to be presented before a Juvenile Justice Board within 24 hours.
The Act also prohibits publication of photographs of such minors because it denies the children the chance to reform themselves.
DGP Rath said he would go through the letter about the Jamshedpur incident.
“If the incidents involving photographs of minors being put up on social networking sites and they being put in a police lock up for two days are true, then it is wrong. I will look into the issue,” said Rath.
Reddy, who has been recently appointed by NCPCR as its Jharkhand representative, has sent copies of his letter to his chairperson Shantha Sinha and state social welfare secretary Mridula Sinha too.
Reddy also said such incidents of police excess on children in Jharkhand are not new and raise serious doubts about the knowledge of junior police officers about the law.
“The Jamshedpur incident shows that junior police officers do not have enough knowledge about the Juvenile Justice Act. Hence, special training programmes should be organised for them at regular intervals so that such incidents are not repeated,” Reddy said.