Hyderabad: The rights of children who are victims of various types of abuse including corporal punishment in schools are violated. In many incidents, though there is a cage registered against those who subject the children to abuse under Juvenile Justice Act, parents withdraw the case or compromise with the opposite party over a period of time, activists said.
They said that parents take the compensation offered to them or cow down to the threats they receive from the accused. Such instances are very high in cases related to corporal punishment in school. Lack of knowledge of child rights and the JJ Act among the police adds to the agony of the victimised children.
Mr A.L. Kismat Kumar, former director of Juvenile Welfare and Correctional Services, said society often does not recognise that children have rights and subjecting them to punishment at home or at educational institutions is still seen as a right by parents or teachers. “They do not understand that they are violating child rights,” he said.
“Parents should come out of the notion that a police case will affect their kid’s future. People still think that their daughters can’t get married and their sons will not get opportunities if there are cases. At the same time educational institutions and Government should focus on counselling the victims and also the staff to handle such issues,” he said.
Rights activists say that cops who deal with these cases have little knowledge of the law. Police can register a suo motu case or on any stranger can file a complaint. But police rarely comes forward and even when someone lodges a complaint they are summoned multiple times citing various reasons.
“Due to this and keeping in view of their child’s future, parents give up and cases are also closed. So many complaints are not even registered also. “The end result of all this, children are losing their rights and they continue to bear the mental and physical agony,” Balala Hakkula Sangham honorary president Achyuta Rao said.
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Senior police officers say that their personnel should come out pre-conceived notions while handling cases related to child abuse and should treat them on priority. A few officers say some people have been found misusing the law to blackmail educational institutions even to the extent of extorting money from managements.
Former DGP B. Prasada Rao said that such issues if left untreated will leave the child in pain and may mould him to become either a timid or violent person in future and will have an effect all through the life.
“Firstly, parents of such kids should be counselled to not back off from a police case thinking that it would affect their child’s future. Teachers, especially men who are most of the times aggressive, should be identified and counselled by professionals. It is the responsibility of the managements to minimise such incidents.” Mr Rao said.
A senior police officer says that there should be more seminars conducted for the personnel on the law. “A circular from any higher office of a district or the state on handling such case with a clear instruction manual will help them understand it better. Briefing subordinates during monthly crime reviews will help,” he said.
“A few such incidents have come to our notice and they are under inquiry. All those found responsible will be treated as per law,” Racha-konda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagawat said....