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When 20 kids were forced to pierce their cheeks for Jayalalithaa's recovery

20 kids forced to pierce cheeks for Jayalalithaa's recovery; NHRC calls for action taken

ANI  |  New Delhi 

Students of Everwin School take part in a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to the late former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa at their school premises in Chennai. Photo: PTI
Students of Everwin School take part in a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to the late former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa at their school premises in Chennai. Photo: PTI

The Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has given four weeks to the to act against erring police officials responsible for the forced piercing of cheeks of about 20 children last year.

Taking cognizance of the incident on Tuesday, the asked the Additional Commissioner of Police (and Order) for North Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to register a case under Sections 326/341/34/120B of the (IPC) and 23 of Juvenile Justice Act against those who forced about 20 children to pierce their cheeks with two meter steel rods as part of a ritual for speedy recovery of then ailing chief minister of J. Jayalalilthaa.

The also asked the officer to provide an action taken report (ATR) within four weeks against the erring police officials, who were, admittedly, present at the site and did nothing to stop the criminal act.

Further, the issued a notice to the Principal Secretary (Home), of Tamil Nadu, to submit a report, within four weeks, on the steps taken to stop such rituals.

The commission's directions came after the Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai, confirmed that such an incident had happened on October 3, 2016.

As part of a ceremony, the children were made to walk from Murgan Temple, R.K. Nagar, to Seniamman Temple, Manikondu, Tondiarpet by AIADMK supporters.

The NHRC, acting on a complaint into the allegations, had called for a report from the concerned authorities on November 7, 2016.

It observed that from the material available on record, including the photographs, it was apparent that the children were very small and innocent and their cheeks were forcibly pierced.

A photograph reveals that the children were made to wear a cap with a photograph of Ms. Jayalalithaa and with slogan written on it - "long live Amma". One girl is seen caught by some persons for the purpose of piercing her cheeks.

THe said that the incident makes it a clear case of violation of human rights of children.

The Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai, in his report, confirming the incident, had said that the children participated in the event with the approval of their parents and were not forced to do so.

However, he had accepted that the incident was a gross violation of Child Rights and that the police personnel, who attended the Bandobast duty on October 3, 2016 in connection with the event, had been severely warned.

He assured that if any such incident is reported in future, action will be taken under the relevant provisions of the against the guilty.

The observed that it failed to understand how the consent of the parents, or that of the children for the ritual, can justify the criminal act of piercing children's cheeks with two meter steel rods.

Admittedly, the police officials, present at the site of the incident did nothing to stop it. Therefore, a simple warning to the erring police personnel is abysmal considering the gravity of the incident.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 26 2017. 15:24 IST
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