The chairperson of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) Usha Negi rejected the accusation of violating any law when she recently caught a girl of about eight years old selling cannabis near Bindal bridge, Dehradun. A few days ago, a video of the same incident went viral in which Negi can be seen talking to the girl about the cannabis and continuously asking her why she was selling them whereas the girl is continuously crying and pleading before Negi. Besides this, Negi also gave a few interviews to news channels where the girl can be seen standing near Negi trembling and folding hands. Many have condemned this move of humiliating and insulting the child in public by Negi instead of making her feel protected and safe.
The Congress state spokesperson Garima Mehra Dasauni also raised questions in the matter stating that Negi has violated the rules under the Juvenile Justice Act. According to her, the face of any child involved in any criminal activity cannot be shown publicly under the Act but Negi deliberately showed herself and the child in the viral video in her desperation for publicity.
Responding to the allegations, Negi said that everyone is trying to politicise this issue. She said that SCPCR is not a political body and works only for the welfare of children. “It is our job to highlight such issues and there was no danger to the safety of the child when we caught her. As far as the visibility of the child is concerned, those who were compelling her to sell the cannabis already know her so there is no point in talking about hiding her face,” said Negi.
Negi also rejected the allegations of spreading the viral video stating that since a juvenile cannot be sent to a police station, the police was called at the location and till then the crowd had gathered around the area and somebody from the public shot the video.
She further added that instead of levelling allegations against those who are working against such criminal acts, people should actually highlight it and work to make the lives of such children better.
Thursday, 16 July 2020 | PNS | Dehradun