Imphal, May 30: The Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR), while acknowledging the crucial role being played by security forces, police in maintaining law and order situation of the state amid the present ongoing agitation, in which students of schools and higher secondary schools, who are young girls and boys under the age of 18 are the main protestors, considers to appeal to all the stakeholders and authority not to adopt wide spread, systemic and institutionalized physical abuse and create psychological damage of the young people that will give long lasting negative impact in their future life.
In a press statement the Commission opined that the strategy and approach for controlling the children protestors must be different from adult targeted ones.
“As a matter of fact the very interpretation of “Minimum Force” needs to be redefined and reviewed contextually. For that matter, lathi charge, tear gas, shells and rubber bullets should not be used arbitrarily and abruptly against the children, and ordering to use such dangerous and deadly means as minimum force without justifiable ground realities against the young children is unwarranted”, Chairperson of the MCPCR, SK Sharma said.
The statement said if required, the security forces should use other less injurious means such as repeated convincing warning through loud speaker, ensuring adequate barricades, water cannon may be an option as last resort, while encountering the young children. The proportionate force to their tender age and their probable strength should be taken into consideration before resorting any violent means. There should be always arrangements for ambulance and first aid along the side of such confrontation.
The underlying principle is- our security forces and police should be rather a child friendly
and Protective Force than hostile force unleashing devastating impact to right to life and the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. Excessive and disproportionate use of force on children and young students is unbecoming in a democratic country like India, a country which ratified the UN Convention on Rights of the Child and where Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is in force. A groundbreaking training manual for Police and Security Forces, Juvenile Justice, Human Rights and decent mob control standard must be introduced.
It is worth to remind here that the Section 75 (Punishment for cruelty to Juvenile or Child) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 states that; -”whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a child, assaults, abandons, abuses, exposes or willfully neglects the child or causes or procures the child to be assaulted, abandoned, abused, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such child unnecessary mental or physical suffering, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extent to three years or with fine of one lakh rupees or both”.