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30 Jun 2017

Children rally notice - Rights panel asks Morcha to clarify march OUR CORRESPONDENT

TT, Siliguri, June 29: The child rights commission has served a show-cause notice on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for bringing out a rally with children in Darjeeling yesterday.
The notice by the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights has also asked the hill party to clarify why no action was taken against the leaders who had allowed the children to participate in the rally seeking a separate Gorkhaland state.
"Whereas, the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter where children in shackled conditions were exposed to violent activities, and used in a political procession by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Darjeeling on 28.06.2017, i.e, on a working day," reads the notice.
In the Morcha march, a group of bare-chested boys was seen walking in fetters, with the demand for Gorkhaland written in black on their bodies.
Back in 2011, Calcutta High Court had suggested that children should be kept out of political rallies. Acting on the suggestion, the state education department had in November 2011 issued a notification mentioning that "no student of any government school or government recognised aided or unaided school shall take part in any political activity or join any political rally within or outside the school premises during school hours".
"A week's time has been given to the party chairperson to clarify why no action was taken against the leaders organising the rally and violating the rights of children," a source said.


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