Rahul Gandhi deliberately revealed identity of rape victim’s family: NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo on Twitter row | India News

A major controversy has erupted over micro-blogging site Twitter blocking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s account. The action was taken reportedly for revealing the identity of the nine-year-old Delhi girl allegedly gang-raped and murdered by posting photographs of her parents. The ruling BJP slammed Rahul Gandhi for “violating” the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. It also requested the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to take cognisance of the matter and initiate action. Talking exclusively to Kumar Shakti Shekhar, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo admitted that the panel had issued notices to the Delhi Police and Twitter. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: The Congress has alleged that Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter handle was blocked on August 7 for revealing the identity of the rape victim. What was NCPCR’s role in it?
A: We received a complaint from an organisation called Dalit Positive Movement in this regard. We sent notices to the Delhi Police and Twitter to take action against Rahul Gandhi’s handle and delete the tweet.
Q: Has Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account been blocked due to the notices you sent to the Delhi Police and Twitter?
A: I would not be able to confirm that because we have not received any action taken report from either of the two agencies. We can authenticate only after receiving an action taken report.
Q: What was the ground on which NCPCR sent notices to Delhi Police and Twitter?
A: NCPCR has the mandate to monitor and protect child rights under various provisions of the POCSO Act and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. We took cognisance of the complaint and issued notices under these laws.
Q: The Congress has alleged that a delegation of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) visited the victim’s place and tweeted photographs with her parents on August 2. A day later, NCSC member Anju Bala tweeted the photographs from her personal handle. Rahul Gandhi posted his pictures with the parents on August 4. While the Congress leader’s account has been blocked, no action has been taken against NCSC or its member. Why?
A: NCPCR acts after receiving complaints. We sent notices to Twitter and Delhi Police after we received a complaint. Rahul Gandhi intentionally disclosed the identity of the parents of the girl. However, we have not observed any such violation from NCSC. In any case, the matter is sub judice in the Delhi high court. We should now wait for the court’s directive. As far as NCPCR is concerned, it is a statutory body. Law is equal for all.

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