Attack on rescuers of child workers; HC summons Police Chief

The Delhi High Court on Friday issued summons to the city Police Commissioner after taking note of alleged assault on the volunteers of an NGO and some cops during their attempt to rescue 22 children workers in Delhi.

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2011, 19:14 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday
issued summons to the city Police Commissioner after taking
note of alleged assault on the volunteers of an NGO and some
cops during their attempt to rescue 22 children workers in Delhi.

"We cannot ignore the right of children. Let these
authorities explain as to how this situation can be redeemed
and also the future course of action they are planning to take
to avoid such untoward situations," a division bench of Chief
Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said.

Besides the police commissioner, the bench also sought
physical presence of ACP, secretaries of Labour and Welfare
departments, Divisional Commissioner of Delhi government and
the DCP of East Delhi where the alleged incident took place,
on March 21.

The volunteers of NGO `Save the Childhood Foundation`
and four policemen, who were part of a task force constituted
in pursuance of the High Court`s order, were allegedly
brutally assaulted by some local goons during their rescue
operation of 22 children workers, working at a construction
site at Jheel Khureji in east Delhi.

The children, who were daily wagers, were being given
Rs 10 per day for their contribution and the incident took
place on March 17 while they were being rescued, senior
advocate HS Phoolka said.

"Despite the directions of the High Court, neither the
police officer of the rank of ACP was present. Only four
policemen from Geeta Colony police station were present in the
rescue operation," Phoolka said.

"Anti-social elements cannot take law into their
hands. Such kind of behaviour is not tolerable in a civilised
society. From this incident, it is clear that authorities have
failed to comply with their own devised guidelines in 2009 for
rescuing child labour, it is very shameful," the bench said.

"The unconcerned authorities and their indifferent
attitudes and apathy show their repulsive attitude towards the
children, who are not supposed to work at factories but are
compelled to do so," the bench said.

PTI