Church-backed NGO in Goa booked for misusing children at anti-CAA rally


Panaji: Officials of a Church-backed NGO and a human rights’ body have been booked under sections of the Goa Children’s Act and the Juvenile Justice Act for allegedly misusing children at the anti-CAA rally held on January 24 in South Goa district. 

The First Information Report filed late on Thursday at the Goa Women police station in Panaji, states that officials of Council for Social Justice and Peace and the Goa chapter of the National Human Rights Organisation had “exposed children to political ideology and aggressive language thereby subjecting the children to psychological abuse and not providing safe environment”.

The Council is an NGO backed by the influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa and is headed by Fr Savio Fernandes. He also heads the Goa chapter of the human rights’ body, which co-organised the rally.

The investigation officer, Police Inspector Sudiksha Naik, has filed the FIR under relevant sections of the Goa Children’s Act and Juvenile Justice Act.

The FIR was filed following a complaint by Goa-based children rights NGO — Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) — which alleged that the organisers of the event had violated children rights, by exposing minors to “political ideology and aggressive derogatory language”.

“Having impressionable children at such gatherings places them in a vulnerable situation. Children are exposed to political ideology, aggressive and often derogatory language and this can leave a lasting memory on them,” the complaint had said. (ANI)