Anti-CAA stir: SC takes cognisance of infant's death during Shaheen Bagh protest

A 4-month-old baby had passed away in his sleep on the night of January 30 after returning from Shaheen Bagh where his parents had taken him during the anti-CAA protest.

Published: 08th February 2020 09:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2020 09:19 AM   |  A+A-

Langar by the Sikh Community at the Saheen Bagh protest site on Friday. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav/EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday took cognisance on its own to "stop the involvement of children and infants in demonstrations" following the death of an infant on January 30 at Shaheen Bagh here.

The apex court website showed that the issue would be taken up for hearing on February 10 by a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde.

The matter assumes importance as a letter was recently written by a 12-year-old National Bravery Award winner to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) seeking directions to prevent children from participating in demonstrations as it "amounts to cruelty".

A 4-month-old baby had passed away in his sleep on the night of January 30 after returning from Shaheen Bagh where his parents had taken him during the anti-CAA protest.

Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, a recipient of the 2019 Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) National Bravery Award, said in the letter to the CJI's office that the parents of the baby and the organisers of the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh had "failed" to protect the rights of the kid, resulting in his death.

Sadavarte, a student of Class 7 from Mumbai, has also alleged that the protesters at Shaheen Bagh include infants and children, who are exposed to conditions unfavourable to them, which is violation of their rights.

"The Shaheen Bagh protesters at New Delhi, include women, senior citizens, newborns and children, ignoring the fact that newborn babies need a lot of attention and care as they cannot express their pains in particulars thereafter also ignoring the conditions unfavourable to the children, they are brought to the protest place which is violative of their child rights and natural justice," the letter said.

It also alleged that the police failed in stopping children from participating in such agitations harmful to their health.

It expressed surprise over the fact that even the death certificate of the 4-month-old does not mention the cause of death.

Sadavarte received the National Bravery Award for guiding 17 people to safety when a fire broke out at Parel's Crystal Tower.

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