Death of minor girl: CWC refutes relatives’ charges

Kin allege lapses by institution where Pocso victim was lodged

Published: 14th January 2021 04:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2021 04:40 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Health minister KK Shailaja

Kerala Health minister KK Shailaja

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has refuted the allegations of relatives, who cited foul play in the death of a 14-year-old mentally retarded minor girl. The committee has sought a report from the institution in which she was staying, related to the circumstances that led to her death.“We came to know about the incident only after the death of the girl and immediately we informed the North Police. The post-mortem report revealed that she died due to pneumonia and chest infection.

The girl was in under the care of an institution, which was registered under Juvenile Justice Act, meant for those with mental illness. She was having minor health issues for over a week and was taking medicines for the same. Due to Covid, she was being treated at a clinic nearby. No serious illness was notified to us by the institutional members,” said Bitty K Joseph, CWC Chairperson.

As a victim of a Pocso case, we were bound to be extra careful with those interacting and visiting the girl. Those people who arrived to visit her were from the paternal side and did not have any documents to prove their identity. In this particular case when the family members are involved and since they are accused, the law limits us from allowing her to interact with the immediate family members,” said Bitty.

Any issues and concerns of the inmates in any institutional care are being tracked and monitored by the CWC. “There is a WhatsApp group involving all child care institutes and we are in constant touch with the authorities there. The group is being monitored daily to track developments. Nothing relating to the health condition of the girl was alerted in the group,” she said.

A three-member team, including a District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) officer, was sent to the institution to further investigate into the death of the girl. A detailed report, including health reports, will be submitted to the CWC chairperson by the team.

Health Minister seeks report
Health Minister K K Shailaja has sought a report from the director of Women and Child Development Department relating to rape incident involving an adopted girl. The girl was adopted in 2015 from the Children’s home under the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Ernakulam. The minister said that an investigation would be conducted to find out if there was any failure on the part of the former CWC. “Strict action will be taken against the culprits. The state will provide all necessary treatment and protection for the child,” the minister said.



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