Maharashtra panel sends notice to Rahul Gandhi over Dalit boys video upload
The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) on Tuesday issued notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Twitter Communications Pvt. Ltd. for allegedly uploading videos of the three Dalit boys were stripped and paraded in the state’s Jalgaon last week.
MSCPCR Chairperson Pravin Ghuge took immediate cognizance of a complaint received from activist Amol Jadhav, who wrote letters to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others, on the matter on Tuesday.
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that they have not yet received the notice, but they would examine it in detail before commenting.
“This is an attempt to divert the issue by the present government. It must be noted that the video in question was already viral on social media networks and uploaded by the perpetrators of the crime themselves,” Sawant told IANS.
Invoking relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, the MSCPCR said that the complainant (Jadhav) has demanded action under these against Gandhi for uploading the video on his Twitter handle on June 15.
The MSCPCR has given 10 days time to Gandhi and Twitter to reply to the notices on the offences – which can attract minimum six months jail term.
A day after the issue broke out in the media, last Friday (June 15) Gandhi blamed the RSS and Bharatiya Janata Party politics after two Dalit and a tribal boy were paraded nude and assaulted for swimming a well in Wakadi village in Jalgaon district.
“The sole crime of these Dalit children was they were taking a dip in a well. Humanity is struggling to save its dignity,” Gandhi tweeted.
He said “if we don’t raise our voices against this politics of hate and poison” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP, “history would not forgive us”.
Around 3 p.m. on June 10, the three boys were stripped, beaten and paraded nude for swimming in a village well.
Gandhi’s comments on the issue, which snowballed into a major political controversy, came as a high-level team of the Maharashtra Congress led by legislator Abdul Sattar visited the village that day and expressed solidarity with the victims and their families.
Union Minister for Social Welfare Ramdas Athawale has also strongly condemned the outrage on the boys for which two persons have been arrested and and the matter is currently being probed at a high level.