The apex body for child rights, NCPCR, has written to DGPs against the ‘misuse’ of children in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, citing legal provisions applied in cases of organised begging and child marriage.
“This is to bring to your kind attention the misuse of children in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in different parts of the country. It has come to the Commission’s notice that certain groups of protesters are involving children in unlawful activities like stone pelting and other violent acts,” wrote NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo in a letter to the DGPs.
Mr. Kanoongo, who was an RSS worker before joining the NCPCR as a Member in 2015, cites provisions from the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 to support its advisory. The letter cites Section 83(2), which is used to nab adult offenders using children in organised begging or trafficking. It provides for rigorous punishment if “any adult or an adult group uses children for illegal activities either individually or as a gang”. The offence carries a punishment of up to seven years in jail along with a fine of ₹5 lakh.
Another provision mentioned in the letter is Section 75 of the JJ Act for offenders who have custody of children and are accused of neglecting them or committing acts of cruelty towards them. Giving a child in marriage and abusing at a school or a child care institution as termed offences under this Section. This offence carries a punishment of up to 3 years or a fine of ₹1 lakh or both.