Sriram’s case should be an eye-opener for Indians: expert

Child rights activists have justified the punishment awarded by Oslo District Court in Norway to the Indian couple — V. Chandrashekar and Anupama — on charge of child rights violation, even as Indians are raising hue and cry over conviction. The activists and representatives of various NGOs praised the Norway government for its efforts to protect the child rights.

The Norway police and the government acted as per law and there was no need for finding fault with them, said Forum for Child Rights member M.C. Das.

The couple, natives of Krishna district, were arrested by the Oslo Police for ill-treating their son Sai Sriram (7). The court awarded 18 months and 15 months prison terms to them respectively.

A retired Project Director of Women Development and Child Welfare (WD&CW) Department V. Swaroopa Rani said that the Indian couple deserved the jail term, if they had tortured the boy, as alleged by the prosecution.

“If children feel any pain, they will tell their parents. But, if parents harass them, to whom will they express their trauma,” asked Child Welfare Committee (CWC) member J. Jaya Raju, and stressed the need for enlightening public on child rights. “Sriram’s case should be an eye-opener for Indians. There are many laws under IPC and Juvenile Welfare Board to protect children in India, but the enforcement of laws is very poor here,” said Sneha Rides organiser B. Nagesh.

District Probation Officer K. Bhaskar of Department of Juvenile Welfare and Correctional Services, said that Chandrashekar and Anupama could be released under Probation Offenders Act, 1958, which prevented separation of child from the parents and provided a chance for realisation. Many cases of child abuse, sexual exploitation, and domestic violence were being reported in Andhra Pradesh, he said. The Indian government had agreed to protect child rights framed by the UNO, but no such realistic steps were taken, said Child Line Coordinator A. Ramesh and upheld the Oslo court’s verdict.