Rajasthan child body chief receiving threats from caste outfit over custody of minor
The chief of Rajasthan state commission for protection of child rights says she is not afraid of threats and wants the best for the girl child caught in the custody war.Updated: Sep 10, 2020 13:57 IST
The chairperson of Rajasthan state commission for protection of child rights (RSCPCR) Sangeeta Beniwal has been receiving hundreds of threats in messages and calls from different parts of the country from members of a particular caste outfit over a case of a minor’s custody.
These threats pertain to the case of a 12-year-old minor from Jodhpur city, who was allegedly left with a non-government organization (NGO) at the age of three by her mother, who, now, wants her custody, 9 years later, against the girl’s wish.
“In 2011, a lady handed over her three-year-old daughter to the local unit of child welfare committee (CWC) stating she was incapable of raising her and requested them to take care of her daughter till she turns 18. As per the norms, before taking the custody of the girl, the CWC took an affidavit—signed a year later in May 2012--from the mother, after which, the girl was formally given to Navjeevan NGO to be raised,” said Beniwal.
The RSCPCR chief added that the girl was currently studying at a school with the fees being paid by the NGO. “The girl is currently studying in class sixth in a good school, which is being paid Rs 50,000 every year by the NGO for her education,” Beniwal said.
Suddenly after nine years, the girl’s mother, who works as a domestic help, returns in February and demands to take back the girl but the minor is refusing, she added.
“In February this year, the mother of the girl requested to meet the girl, after which, the lady was granted permission to meet her daughter on a regular basis, but a few days later, the woman started threatening the NGO that it would face repercussions if the girl was not returned to her. The girl, however, refused to stay with her mother, following which, the woman mobilized some caste-based outfits for threatening the NGO guys,” Beniwal said.
When the child body chief intervened, some members of the caste outfit mentioned above started threatening Beniwal through WhatsApp and sms texts and phone calls, saying that if the NGO didn’t hand over the custody of the girl, Beniwal would face repercussions. HT has seen some such messages sent to the RSCPCR chairperson.
Beniwal says she is not giving in to threats. “I am not afraid of the threats. The future of the girl is the most important thing for the NGO and me,” she said, adding that she will file a complaint to the police on Thursday afternoon.
The minor says she is not comfortable with the idea of returning to her mother. “Also, I am not sure whether my mother, and the man she is living with, would be able to give me the quality education provided by the NGO. Where was my mother for the last several years?” the minor asked.
Beniwal has requested the commissioner of police, Jodhpur city to tighten the security for the NGO and the girl.
The mother of the girl said she would self-immolate if she doesn’t get custody of her daughter within two days. “I left my daughter at the Navjeevan Sansthan and I need justice. If the custody of my daughter is not given back to me, I would immolate myself,” the lady said.