Counsel kids in Shaheen Bagh, may suffer mental trauma: NCPCR

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NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo added that it is apparent the children have suffered from deep trauma because of the “rumours floating around”. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Tuesday issued an order to the District Magistrate of South East Delhi to identify the children involved in Shaheen Bagh protests and send them for counselling. In its order, the NCPCR said the children “may suffer from mental trauma” because of “rumours and miscommunication” regarding the CAA.

“We issued the order Tuesday. This order is based on viral videos, which show children saying things like ‘Pradhan Mantri humko desh se nikal denge (the Prime Minister will throw us out of the country)’, and ‘Home Minister ko kaagaz nahi dikhayenge toh who humein detention camp mein bhej denge (if we don’t show documents to the Home Minister, he will send us to detention camps)’. This is the effect of rumours regarding CAA. For the children to be affected by this and say things like this is extremely worrying. We believe the children are in need of intense counselling. If need be, their parents should also be sent for counselling,” said chairperson NCPCR Priyank Kanoongo.

Kanoongo added that it is apparent the children have suffered from deep trauma because of the “rumours floating around”. He said local counselling centres are available to this end. The NCPCR has taken cognizance of the matter under Section 13 of the CPCR Act, 2005.

“In view of the seriousness of the issue and its impact on the children, you are requested to issue necessary directions to DCPO along with Police Child Welfare Officer/SJPU to identify these children and arrange counselling session for them and also for their parents, if deemed fit. Further, if required, these children may be produced before the CWC,” states the order.

The District Magistrate is to submit a report to the NCPCR within 10 days.

L-G Baijal meets protesters, calls for peace

After parents of school-going children stressed their concerns to Delhi Police about the protests at Shaheen Bagh disrupting their children’s commute to school, a delegation of protesters, including five women, met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, after being “approached by the administration”. A member of the delegation said an alternative route will be provided to school buses passing through the area. In a statement, L-G Baijal also appealed to the protesters to “maintain peace and order and call off their agitation”.