Mumbai News: State Child Rights Commission Pulls Up Shivaji Nagar Police For Beating Up Minors

Mumbai News: State Child Rights Commission Pulls Up Shivaji Nagar Police For Beating Up Minors

The commission said that in no case police can beat children, even if a crime has been committed by them and asked the police to investigate the matter.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 05:34 PM IST
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Taking cognisance of minor Pardhi children being beaten up and locked overnight in Shivaji Nagar police station on suspicion of theft, the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) pulled up the police for thrashing minors. The commission said that in no case police can beat children, even if a crime has been committed by them and asked the police to investigate the matter.

The state child rights commission (MSCPR) was hearing into the matter of five children, including four girls and a boy, detained on suspicion of theft and subjected to verbal and physical abuse inside the Shivajinagar police station. The commission pulled up the police in this matter and instructed them to understand and adhere to child rights. The commission also instructed the police to complete the investigation within seven days and submit a detailed report.

At the hearing conducted at the commission’s Mumbai headquarters on Tuesday, Advocate Susieben Shah, chairperson of MSCPR, said, “The rights of the children should not be violated under any circumstances. No child is born a criminal, certain circumstances make them take such steps. It is a collective responsibility of every element in the society to bring a change in the situation.”

The commission also pointed out that children should not be brought to the police station for questioning and should not be kept in the police station at night. The commission observed that even when the complainant did not know the identity of the children, the police kept the children under detention and beat them and among them, an 11-year-old boy was kept in police custody overnight.

On March 8, police had detained these five children and a 20-year-old woman on suspicion of stealing Rs. 63,000 from a woman’s wallet. These children who belong to the Pardhi community were allegedly subjected to physical and verbal abuse during the interrogation at the police station without their parents’ presence. The children, aged 11 to 15 years, were allegedly hit with sticks and belts on their hands, backs and the soles of their feet to confess to the theft. One of the girls was forced by a policeman to show if she was hiding the money under her clothes. The 11-year-old boy remained in police custody overnight, allegedly enduring continued abuse.

Upon learning of this incident, Child Safety Forum, a collective of NGOs, approached the police to transfer the children to Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi for medical examination and also discovered physical injuries on the children’s bodies. The case was referred to the Child Welfare Committee, and the forum wrote a letter to the police and the committee regarding the matter, urging them to take action against the policemen concerned.

The forum had alleged that the children were targeted as they belong to a scheduled tribe and it raises serious questions on the credibility of the Mumbai police and their ability to deal with children from oppressed communities.

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