GUWAHATI, Oct 10 - Singer Kalpana Patowary today hit back at the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) and the District Child Welfare Committee, Kamrup Metro, alleging that some of their officials have violated child rights by causing ‘deliberate’ trauma to a seven-year-old child in the name of rescue.
Patowary made the statement while addressing media persons today.
Her statement came a day after the Commission alleged that the singer had violated the section 74 (Prohibition on Disclosure of identity of Children) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, by posting the video of a child on YouTube and Facebook, wherein the identity and details of the child in need of care and protection are completely revealed.
According to Patowary, the child, who is her niece, lost her mother under mysterious circumstances at Bengaluru after which she came to Guwahati with her father to perform the rituals.
“In Guwahati, she was kept in the house of her maternal grandmother. Later, she expressed strong sentiment against going back to Bengaluru with her father and she even did not want to spend time at her father’s house. In such a situation, the maternal grandmother of the child filed a child custody case at the Principal Judge Family Court here and the court consequently issued summon to the father of the child. But, the father moved the ASCPCR and on October 1 a team of Childline Guwahati came to take the child away,” she said.
According to Patowary, the girl, during interaction with the Childline team, stated that she did not want to go with her father.
“She also made the same statement before the District Child Welfare Committee (DCWC) of Kamrup Metro,” Patowary claimed.
Patowary alleged that the DCWC initially directed to hand over the child to her father. But, she refused go with him and cried inconsolably in the premises of the committee. She also stated that the officials of ASCPCR were trying to take the child away forcefully.
“The chairperson of the ASCPCR had stated that the biological father has absolute right over the child. Is she not aware that in the context of domestic violence, sudden death of mother, child’s persistent refusal to be with her father – the question of the biological father having uninhibited rights over a child does not hold water?” she said in the statement.
She further said, “The chairperson of the ASCPCR is trying to project that my family and I have tutored or influenced and held my niece hostage. We have recorded telephone conversations where the child is calling up my sister demanding to be picked up from her father’s house.”
The incident relates to a recent development where Partha Pratim Mahanta, a resident of Guwahati currently working in Bengaluru, was refused the custody of his girl child by her maternal family members with whom she had stayed after the death of her mother.
Following this, Mahanta lodged an FIR at the Dispur Police Station complaining against maternal aunts and uncles of the child, including Kalpana Patowary, who is the maternal aunt of the girl.
The ASCPCR subsequently took cognisance of the matter under section 13 of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, and recommended vide its letter to the Commissioner of Police to take necessary action to rescue the child and also recommended to the Childline to rescue the child and produce before the Child Welfare Committee, Kamrup Metro.
The CWC has since extended the child’s temporary custody with the maternal family and fixed the next date of production on October 16, 2019.