Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has taken serious cognizance of an incident of alleged sexual assault of a minor by her foster father in Karimganj district of Assam.
The Minister while viewing the incident of molestation and attempts to cover up the matter seriously on Tuesday has asked the Assam Government for stern action in the matter, reports The Tribune.
It is learnt Gandhi has urged Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to ensure justice to the child who faced sexual abuse at the hands of her foster father for months with the foster father evading arrest.
Notably, Maneka Gandhi recently led revolutionary amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2015.
The Cabinet this week proposed amendments to POCSO Act significantly raising the minimum prison sentences for convicts of child sexual abuse and providing death penalty for aggravated sexual assault of a child.
The Assam case qualifies as aggravated sexual assault defined as assault by a person in a position of trust.
Meanwhile, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), India’s apex adoption and foster care review body under the Women and Child Development Ministry, has directed the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar, to send action-taken report to the Centre in this case.
The Women and Child Development Ministry has also pulled up Assam Police and the Child Welfare Committee of Cachar after the police reported subjected the child to an ossification test and claimed she is not a minor and so POCSO Act won’t apply against foster father Gopal Das, named in the FIR under IPC Section 354 (molestation), the report added.