Congress says Maharashtra child rights body's notice to Rahul Gandhi diversionary tactic, will explore legal options

Mumbai: The Congress in Maharashtra today said the state child rights panel's notice to party president Rahul Gandhi for 'disclosing' the identity of two minor boys, who were victims of an assault, as a bid to divert the attention from the main issue pertaining to the deprived sections.

A video purportedly showing the two minor boys being stripped and beaten up for swimming in a well of a farmer in Maharashtra's Jalgaon district had gone viral last week.

Gandhi had tweeted about the incident, tagging the video and blaming the BJP and the RSS for "rising atrocities" against backward classes. As per law, the identity of minor victims cannot be disclosed.

File image of protests outside Parliament. PTI

File image of protests outside Parliament. PTI

The video of the incident had gone viral on social media much before Gandhi's tweet on it and even television channels had aired the clip, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan told reporters here, defending the party president.

"The notice issued by the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to Gandhi is a means to divert attention from the main issue of deprived sections of the society being targetted," he alleged.

The Congress will seek a legal opinion in the matter and clarify its future course of action, he said. Chavan claimed that since the BJP came to power, the atrocities on Dalits, backward classes and deprived sections of the society were on the rise.

"The fresh incident is the case of two teenagers from a backward community being beaten up for bathing in a well in Jalgaon district. Authorities are not taking action in the case. If we raise our voice against this and demand immediate action, what is wrong in this?," he asked.

Taking cognisance of a complaint filed by a Mumbai resident, Amol Jadhav, the child rights panel had on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to Gandhi and Twitter for disclosing the identity of the two minor Dalit boys.

The commission sought a reply from both as to why action should not be taken against them under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar had on Tuesday demanded that Gandhi withdraw the video from his twitter handle. The commission has sought Gandhi's reply within 10 days.

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Updated Date: Jun 20, 2018 17:11:15 IST

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