Detention of minor girl at Noida police station: NHRC notice to UP DGP

LUCKNOW, MAY 31: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that a 14-year-old girl was detained at a police chowki and a police station in Noida for eight days. She was beaten, burnt with cigarettes and given electric shocks. Reportedly, the girl, a domestic help, was detained after her employer accused her of theft. The Commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, indicate cruelty of the police personnel for which the deserve exemplary punishment so that a message could be given that such inhuman act by a public servant cannot be accepted at any cost. The law does not empower the police personnel to humiliate and harm the innocent citizens. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, calling for detailed report in the matter within 4 weeks. He is also expected to send the report about the steps taken for counselling/ rehabilitation of the victim. According to the media reports, family members of the victim girl have stated that she was detained by the police on May 14, 2018, at Salarpur police Chowki, where she remained till May 16, 2018. They were not allowed to meet her and she was released on May 16, 2018. The police again picked up the girl, the next day and this time her 17-year-old brother was also taken into custody. Both of them were finally released in the night of May 22, 2018, following the intervention by an NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan and an order from the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Reportedly, the CWC, on May 23, 2018, also ordered a medical examination of the girl. The medico legal case (MLC) report has revealed discoloured “brown-shaped circular discolorations” near her left and right wrists linking these to burnt marks. The report also mentions abrasions on the right forearm near the elbow.. The report specifically clarified that all injuries are more than 10 days old, caused by hard and blunt object. The SHO of the Police Station Sector-39, Noida has, reportedly, denied the allegations of illegal detention and torture. He has also claimed that the girl was not a minor. The MLC however, confirms that the girl is a minor. On a complaint filed by the NGO, the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has sought a report from the Senior Superintendent of Police, Noida through Noida District Legal Services Authority. As mentioned in the news report, the girl has alleged that the employer himself came to their house and demanded that she work as their domestic help and when she protested, he took away her on his scooter in front of the neighbours.