After a sustained legal battle, Hindu Samhati has finally managed to get justice for the Hindu juvenile who was illegally arrested by police during the Basirhat riots. Yesterday, the ACJM (Addl.
The boy had been languishing in jail as an adult since he was arrested on the night of 2 July. The FIR registered by WB police conspicuously failed to mention the age of the accused; he was produced before a magistrate who sent him to judicial custody.
And despite the minor’s house being burnt down the same night he was arrested, Hindu Samhati activists managed to retrieve his birth certificate which clearly showed that the the boy was born on 6 July 2000 (6.7.2000) – i.e. he was just 16-years-old when he was taken into custody by WB police.
- 16-year-old Minor arrested on 2 July for alleged objectionable FB post. Muslim mob burns his house down the same night and start rioting thereafter demanding that the boy be handed over to them for sharia-style lynching.
- FIR does not mention the boy’s age and police produce him before a magistrate who orders him sent to him to judicial custody in violation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
- On 12 July, Hindu Samhati activists manage to unearth the minor’s birth certificate issued by Baduria municipality which clearly shows his date of birth as 06.07.2000
- The same day, 12 July, HS lodges complaints with WB CM Office, SCPCR, NCPCR for violation of child rights by a public authority.
- By law, police has to produce the minor in court and in the first hearing on 20 July, HS lawyers argue for juvenile law to be applied in this case. Evidence of the child’s age is placed on record, and the court ordered verification of the documents by the investigating officer by 3 Aug.
- On 3 Aug, court admonishes police for failing to comply with the earlier order and asks for the report to be submitted within 2 days. Next hearing set for 5 Aug.
- At the third hearing on August 5, the police admitted the authenticity of the documents submitted by Hindu Samhati on July 20. But, in an attempt to retain the boy in jail, the prosecution roped in an expert lawyer, Bibhas Babu, from Kolkata, to argue its case. However, defense lawyer Brojendranath Roy rose to the occasion and succeeded in having the boy sent to juvenile home.
Despite the West Bengal administration’s delaying tactics and pressure put on the boy’s family, HS efforts have finally borne fruit. With the child in a secure juvenile home, his custody can be reclaimed by his father/uncle directly from the home, on personal bond, as and when the situation is conducive for his safe return. There would be no need for a court hearing. PGurus has reported that the idea of rehabilitating the family in a new and safe location is also under consideration.
Moreover, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, on July 25, directed the District Collector of North 24 Parganas to investigate the complaint of violation of child rights and submit a report within 25 days, delivering another blow to the Mamata Banerjee regime.
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