NCPCR report points out lapses in the initial probe
Shocking facts have been unearthed by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in connection with the suicide of a 17-year-old class 12 student of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu. The probe revealed that the school authorities allegedly tried to conceal the real reason that she was being forced to convert to Christianity. The probe has also raised questions about the intentions of the Tamil Nadu Police.
The probe also discloses the possibility of tampering with the evidence by the school authorities and that the crime scene was not sealed. There was a major lapse in the investigation of the Tamil Nadu police as they did not take the warden of the building, an accused, to recreate the crime scene.
The NCPCR got to know that the school was cooking up stories that the deceased was having a stepmother who forced her to take extreme steps.
The victim in a video, recorded before her death, said that she was being forced to convert to Christianity by her school authorities. The video went viral on social media. After the video was found, the NCPCR had received around 3545 complaints regarding the matter to initiate a probe and bring out the truth.
The NCPCR formed a committee of three officials headed by Priyank Kanoongo, the Chairperson NCPCR, Madhulika Sharma, Advisor (Education), and Katyayani Anand, Consultant (Legal) which visited Thanjavur, in the last week of January.
“There might exist a possibility of tampering with the evidence in the absence of proper compliance with the due procedure of law. It was also observed that the alleged crime scene was not sealed and cordoned off for the purpose of the investigation by the local police, the police had failed to identify the person who sold the girl the chemical substance,” read the report of the NCPCR.
The NCPCR report also suggests that the local police didn’t do a fair probe and did not follow due procedure. The team gathered relevant documents from the authorities and parents of the girl.
The NCPCR officials found that the school did not have any separate rooms and accommodation for the stay of children and that the hall in which the deceased girl was staying had been cleaned and necessary items like furniture, books, clothes, belongings of children, etc were not there.
“The Children Home where the girl stayed, didn’t take her to hospital and waited for her parents. Before she was allowed to be taken to a hospital, the school authorities collected the fee from her mother,” the report said.
“The NCPCR was made aware how the minor girl was made to do official work of the CCI (school committee) by the warden like bookkeeping, accounting, store management, etc, and other work like cleaning the premises, washing toilets, opening the door, etc. It was observed that the investigating authorities were somewhere trying to conceal material facts pertaining to the care given to the child while she was staying in the CCI and also ignored all the pleas made by the family to investigate regarding the minor being forced to convert to Christianity,” read the report.
The NCPCR had on January 20, written a letter to the DGP, Tamil Nadu to initiate a probe into the matter and take action against the guilty persons. But the Tamil Nadu police didn’t respond to the NCPCR.
The CBI had on February 15 lodged an FIR in the case.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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