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  • Minor Girl in Congress Rally ::Lakhimpur Police to file case, Congress seeks apology

    Published on June 7, 2018

    by Bhupen Goswami

    Guwahati : Following the uproar against the “symbolic” use of a minor girl child in the Congress rally on the North Lakhimpur streets on Wednesday, Lakhimpur police is going to file a suo moto case since no organization has come forward to register a complaint so far. It may be noted that protesting against the increase in the price of petrol and diesel rates, Congress made a minor girl child sit on a dhokuwa (dried betel-nut tree leaf) and pulled it by the stem under the scorching sun. This act of the Congress was severely criticised by the people of the state. BJP Spokesperson, Pramod Swami said that the Congress has used a minor girl for “gaining cheap publicity in the name of protest”. The suo moto case will be registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of Children) Act (JJ Act), 2015. The chairperson of the Lakhimpur Child Welfare Commission discussed the issue with the district superintendent of police. The district police chief assured to take action as per law. On the other hand, Lakhimpur police arrived at the minor girl child’s house on Thursday morning but was not able to meet her mother. As per reports, the mother is presently “absconding”. During an interview with a local television channel, the mother of the child, who is also a Congress worker, stated that with her due consent, her daughter was made to sit on the dhokuwa and within “one minute” she was “released”. Legal experts informed when parents knowingly allow their minor children to be used in public programmes like a political rally, they can be charged under the Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act which might land them in jail for three years. Before the clipping of the minor on the dhokuwa went viral, Congress leader Jayprakash Das, president of the Lakhimpur Congress Committee, had told the media since parents will no longer be able to send their children to school on buses, such dhokuwas are now the only ray of hope. After facing backlash, Das on Thursday apologized for his comment and also said he regrets allowing the use of a minor in the rally. Das told media that “using” the minor girl child was an “emotional decision”. “It was a mistake and as a leader, I take the responsibility. It was not intentional; we got carried away. We are ready to cooperate and face the law,” said Das. On the other hand, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora on Thursday directed Das to conduct an inquiry on under what circumstances a minor girl child was allowed to take part in the protest rally. Bora also asked Das to take action against the ones found guilty.