The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Lohit district Superintendent of Police for the reported abuse of three minors, all of whom are accused in a theft case.
The notice was issued on the basis of a complaint lodged by the North East Human Rights Organization (NEHRO).
The organization had taken note of pictures circulated on social media showing the three minors – two 14 years old and one 13 – allegedly caught by the police for a theft from Gandhi Chowk in Tezu, the headquarters of Lohit district, on April 1.
“One of the photos had the police personnel proudly displaying the minors, who are children in conflict with the law, and indicting them as thieves,” Buteng Tayeng, the state affairs secretary of NEHRO said in the complaint to the rights panel.
“In another picture, they were posing beside one of the minors with handcuffs,” Tayeng added.
“After wide circulations on social media, the minors were subjected to abuses and threats by people, and their identities were compromised,” he said.
The police personnel acted callously with scant regard of the consequences upon the minors and there was no justifiable reason to have the minors photographed, he added.
“The unwarranted act of the police personnel exposed the minors to severe social humiliation and ostracism, which will undoubtedly have massive ramifications on their future and stigmatize them for the rest of their lives,” Tayeng said.
He pointed out that the conduct of the police personnel was in violation of Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which prohibits disclosure of the name, address or school or any other particular which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with the law and is punishable with imprisonment and fine.
The handcuffing of the minors was also uncalled for, the NEHRO said.
Meanwhile, the Commission has asked the Lohit SP to submit details of the case to its office within 4 weeks.