Minor rape victims: Welfare panel does nothing for rehabilitation of victims | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Minor rape victims: Welfare panel does nothing for rehabilitation of victims

punjab Updated: Mar 11, 2015 21:36 IST
Jatinder Kohli
Jatinder Kohli
Hindustan Times
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For almost two years from January 2013, the statutory body for the welfare of children in the district did not initiate rehabilitation in any of the 104 minor rape cases that occurred in the district, an RTI application has revealed.

As per information gathered from office of deputy commissioner by HT through the RTI application, it was found that the police did not refer even one of the 104 cases to the child panel.

However, in contradiction to the police's information the CWC claimed that it had received two copies of first information report (FIR) of minor rape cases from Basti Bawa Khel police station in September and October 2014.

When contacted, CWC, Jalandhar chairperson Kanchan Chawla said that the panel had received a few FIRs and offered help by contacting families telephonically or through letters but families declined the assistance and claimed they were doing the needful themselves.

This despite the fact that the panel held 25 meetings from January 2013 to November 30, 2014 attended by Chalwa and its three other members -- Sandeep Singh, Dr KB Sharda and Dr Avtar Singh.

The situation is apathetical because there are families that are in dire need of support from the administration.

HT contacted a father of six-and-half-year-old rape victim, who was left in the lurch as neither the administration or the CWC provided any relief to the girl who was sexually assaulted by her 20-year-old neighbour at Nahla village of the district on October 25, 2014.

As per father, none of members of the committee visited the rape victim wither at the civil hospital where she was admitted for five days and underwent a minor surgery or at her house.

CWC is a statutory body under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, which stipulates that CWC as a competent authority to deal with children in need of care and protection and provide for their proper care, treatment, protection, development and rehabilitation. The committee has to determine within three days as to whether a victim should be taken out of the custody of her family or taken to a children's or shelter home.

Moreover, the panel can take suo moto cognisance of such incidents and does not have to necessarily rely on the police to send it FIRs.

Speaking to HT, Vinod Kumar Tikoo, chairperson of a working group on substance abuse among children said that if the committee does not receive any details of such case from the police, it can also take suo moto notice based on media reports and can act accordingly.

"CWC has a big responsibility to provide every kind of assistance to rape victims and their families," he added.

The Jalandhar district is leading from other districts in Doaba with 104 minor rape cases registered in city and rural police from January 2013 to November 30, 2014.