NCPCR writes to West Bengal chief secy, demands probe into post-poll violence affecting children

By PTI
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the chief secretary of West Bengal raising concerns over post-poll violence in the state affecting children and sought an inquiry into the matter after it received a complaint regarding the same.

West Bengal was in the throes of widespread violence on Monday that allegedly left several BJP workers dead and injured in clashes, and shops being looted, prompting the Centre to seek a factual report from the state government on the incidents of attack on opposition workers.

The commission said that it had come across several media reports regarding the death of some people in the post-poll violence in West Bengal on May 3.

“Since the conclusion of election polls in the state of West Bengal on May 2, there are many incidents of violence being reported across the state which has made the people vulnerable and at imminent risk of danger and harm, especially children,” Chairperson, NCPCR, Priyank Kanungo said in the letter.

“In relation to these incidents of violence, the Commission has received a complaint concerning the safety and security of children in the state in these present incidents of violence. The complainant has stated that during this widespread attack against the people in the state, the children are being targeted and are being subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment,” Kanungo said.

It also said that the complainant has claimed that many children have been recruited to participate in the incidents of violence.

The commission attached a copy of the complaint with the letter.

“In view of the serious nature of incidents being reported in the state posing a threat to the safety of the children and their rights and the averments made in the complaint, the commission deems it appropriate to take cognizance under Section 13(1)(j) of the CPCR Act, 2005 in this matter,” the letter said.

“Accordingly, the commission requests that an inquiry into these incidents of violence happening in the state must be conducted by your good offices with regard to the safety and well-being of children in this grave situation,” it added.

The NCPCR said section 83(2) of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 provides for punitive punishment for using children for illegal activities and requested that an inquiry must also be conducted with regard to children being made to participate in the violence.

It also said that an action taken report of the inquiry along with information about the steps taken by the government be provided to the NCPCR within seven days.

Earlier, the National Commission for Women as well as the National Human Right Commission demanded enquiries into the violence and also stated that they will send fact finding teams to the state.