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Goa church body booked for misusing children at anti-CAA rally

On January 24, thousands attended the rally held in South Goa's Lohia Maidan, to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Published: 30th January 2020 10:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2020 10:37 PM   |  A+A-

FIR, First Information Report

For representational purposes

By IANS

PANAJI: Officials of a Church-backed NGO and a human rights' body, which had organised an anti-CAA rally in Goa last week, have been booked under sections of the Goa Children's Act and the Juvenile Justice Act for misusing children at a rally held on January 24 in South Goa district.

The First Information Report filed late on Thursday at the Goa Police Women station in Panaji states that officials of Council for Social Justice and Peace and the Goa chapter of the National Human Rights Organisation had "exposed children to political ideology and aggresive language thereby subjecting the children to psyhological abuse and not providing safe environment".

The Council is an NGO backed by the influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa and is headed by Fr. Savio Fernandes. He also heads the Goa chapter of the human rights' body, which co-organised the rally.

Investigating officer Inspector Sudiksha Naik has filed the FIR under relevant sections of the Goa Children's Act and Juvenile Justice Act.

The FIR was filed following a complaint by Goa-based child rights NGO Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), which alleged that the organisers of the event had violated child rights by exposing minors to political ideology and aggressive derogatory language.

"Having impressionable children at such gatherings places them in a vulnerable situation. Children are exposed to politically ideology, aggressive and often derogatory language and this can leave a lasting memory," the complaint had said.

On January 24, thousands attended the rally held in South Goa's Lohia Maidan, to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register. Several children were also seen at the event, photographs of whom, have also been submitted along with the complaint.

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