Delete Rahul Gandhi’s photo of Dalit girl’s family, child rights body asks Twitter
In its notice – addressed to Twitter India resident grievance officer – the NCPCR said the Congress MP’s tweet violated the POCSO and Juvenile Justice Acts.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Wednesday issued a notice to Twitter India, asking the social media platform to remove a photo posted by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that reveals the identity of a Dalit girl whose alleged rape, murder and forcible cremation has sparked massive protests in Delhi.
“Revealing the identity of the girl by tweeting a photo of her parents [is] in violation of the POCSO [Protection of Children from Sexual Offences] Act,” said Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson of the child rights body. “NCPCR has taken cognisance of the matter and issued a notice to Twitter seeking action against Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter handle as well as removal of the post.”
Gandhi on Wednesday met the family of the nine-year-old Dalit girl in Delhi Cantonment’s Purana Nangal village. After that, he posted a photo showing him and her parents having a conversation inside a car. “Parents’ tears are saying only one thing – their daughter, the daughter of this country, deserves justice,” he tweeted along with the photo.
In its notice – addressed to Twitter India resident grievance officer – the child rights body said the Congress MP’s tweet also violated the Juvenile Justice Act. “In the said photo, the faces of the victim’s father and mother can be seen which thereby reveals the identity of the girl,” it said.
The NCPCR requested Twitter to send an action-taken report in the matter to the body within three days.
The move came shortly after Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra criticised Gandhi for sharing the photo. “This is using Dalits and the poor for furthering your own political agenda,” Patra said.
The alleged crime took place on Sunday evening at a crematorium in Delhi’s Cantonment area.
Around 6 pm, Radhey Shyam, the crematorium’s priest and one of the arrested men, called the minor’s mother and showed her daughter’s body. The priest claimed that she died by electrocution.
Shyam also coerced the girl’s mother into cremating the body immediately, suggesting to her that there was no need to inform anyone about the incident and that she would not be able to bear the expenses of fighting a case.
The police have said that only the legs of the girl were recovered and it would be very difficult to ascertain if she was raped or not.
Four accused men have been booked for gangrape, murder and other sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.