AAP leaders sharing images of Delhi government school children with handwritten cards and messages for Manish Sisodia has drawn the attention of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which on Friday issued a notice against senior AAP leader Atishi and sought an FIR against her.
The Commission had earlier issued similar notices to Delhi Chief Secretary and Police Commissioner against AAP MP Raghav Chadha and Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut for “posting pictures of minors” on Twitter in “furtherance of political agenda”.
On Friday, senior AAP leaders, including Atishi, Saurabh Bharadwaj and Jasmine Shah, took to Twitter and shared handwritten messages by students for Mr. Sisodia.
Mr. Sisodia, who until Tuesday held 18 portfolios including Education in the Delhi government, resigned from the Cabinet following his arrest by the CBI in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy for 2021-22.
According to an AAP functionary, more than 20,000 students penned “I love Manish Sisodia” messages and parents set up desks outside government schools to help their wards send the message to Mr. Sisodia. As the images shared by AAP leaders began to circulate on social media, the BJP on Friday accused the AAP government of using innocent children to rally support for the arrested leader.
The AAP government, however, denied the allegations. “There is no involvement of any government department or government employee in any such activity. It is just a BJP agenda,” read a Delhi government statement.
Leading the attack against AAP, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said, “Today, Arvind Kejriwal has fallen to such an extent in politics that he is even using children to get Manish Sisodia out of jail.”
Saying that it has received a complaint against Ms. Atishi, the NCPCR notice read, “It is alleged that the said images are uploaded by Atishi Singh in order to divert the attention in the ongoing/pending investigation by [the] CBI against Manish Sisodia in Delhi liquor policy case in furtherance of their personal agenda.”
Speaking to The Hindu, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said the Commission has received more complaints from various individuals, including parents, against some other AAP leaders and that more notices may be issued on Saturday.
The NCPCR has also sought an action taken report within three days.
Welcoming the NCPCR move, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor sought a proper investigation into the matter and said that action should be taken against officials associated with school administrations where such desks were set-up.