The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, in a notice issued on Monday, asked the Commissioner of Police (Mumbai) to lodge an FIR against Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray and others for the alleged presence of minor children at the Save Aarey protest on July 10 against the new state government’s decision to develop a Metro car shed at in Aarey colony.
The notice has been served based on a complaint received on Twitter by Dhrutiman Joshi, the legal head of Sahyadri Rights Forum. The commission said that the link tagged in the complaint shows children holding placards.
Reacting sharply to the call, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, in a tweet, said, “What a joke! They were not part of Shiv Sena protests but the citizens’ group. The children wanted to meet Shri @AUThackeray and he was appreciative of their interest in forest conservation! Is this a new form of intimidation to stop citizens from protesting? Is saving forests now a crime?”
The commission registrar Anu Chaudhary, meanwhile, said that the act is prima facie in contravention of section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, and Article 21 (Right to Life) and Article 23 (Right to protection from forced labour) of the Constitution of India.
She further said that these children should be identified and produced before the Child Welfare Committee as per the Juvenile Justice Act to record their statements. “An ‘action taken report’, along with a copy of the FIR, and statements of these children may be shared with the commission within three days of receipt of this letter,” she said.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi in a tweet has reacted sharply on the Commission’s move saying, ‘’What a joke! They were not part of Shiv Sena protests but the citizens group. The children wanted to meet Shri @AUThackeray and he was appreciative of their interest in forest conservation!Is this a new form of intimidation to stop citizens from protesting?Is saving forests now a crime?’’
‘’If @NCPCR_ is worried about children’s rights they should look towards the MP's incident of an 8 year old holding the dead body of his malnourished 2 year old brother. Also, speak about some of the problematic amendments in JJA. Give hope that someone will speak up for them, help them,’’ she said in another tweet.
Aaditya along with several NGOs participated in the protest on Sunday against the Shinde-Fadnavis government’s decision to scrap the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s decision relocating the metro car shed from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg. Aaditya said it was a fight for Mumbai and for life.