Chairperson of Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights Devi Sirohi has said that the police should act against all those who violated the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act by not reporting the Theatre Age director Zulfiqar’s misdeeds to the police or the commission in real time. She said the delay had put at risk many children to fall prey to the misdeeds of the disgraced NGO director, which was a crime.
She said one has to report the sexual abuse of children within a day and thus police should investigate whether or not the authorities were informed well in time by the whistleblower or he kept sitting on the information for long. “We have forwarded the complaint to the police for action. The role of Kanwarpal should be probed and if police find that he sat on the complaint, action as per law should be taken against him. In such cases conclusions cannot be drawn without proper investigations and those found guilty should be dealt as per the law,” said Sirohi.
She added that since the case is in the court, the commission cannot recommend any criminal action, but the police should thoroughly investigate all angles and also probe the conduct of all those involved in the case, including Kanwarpal.
Meanwhile, coming to the aid of about 50 children associated with Theater Age, the commission said the education department needed to depute extra teachers to teach them. “The education department officials have assured us that they would not let these children suffer and they would even provide them counselling and extra rooms for dance and acting classes,” Sirohi said.
To check sexual abuse of children in future in the city, the panel members held a meeting with the representatives from UT’s education and social welfare departments, and NGOs dealing with children. Issuing directions for the NGOs and education department, the commission has asked the institutions to report such cases to the authorities concerned as soon as they come to the fore.