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‘Medical test on girl too late’

ADITYA DEV IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

GURGAON: Taking cognizance of a TOI report published on Friday which mentioned the delay in conducting the medical test of a minor girl rescued from a Sector 4-based doctor couple, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued a notice to the Gurgaon administration seeking a report in the matter.In the story, “No medical test of minor tortured by doctor couple” published on August 31, undue delay over the mandatory medical test to determine the victim’s age was highlighted.

The girl was rescued last Monday, but the medical test has been deferred till September 4, a delay of eight days. Childline (1098), which was part of the rescue team, had raised objection over the matter and stated that the test should have been conducted within 24 hours of the complaint. It has also alleged inaction by the Gurgaon police. Vinod Kumar Tikoo, member, NCPCR, said, “The commission has sent a notice on Friday seeking details in the case. A 15-day timeframe has been fixed for the reply.”

The victim has been given shelter at a local children’s home. Rishi Kant, spokesperson of NGO Shakti Vahini, which runs Childline in Gurgaon, said, “Juvenile Justice Act Guidelines are not being properly followed here.”

Also, no arrest has been made so far. The Sector 4 residents, have been accused of employing a minor girl and torturing her. An FIR has been registered under Section 23 (punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child) and 26 (exploitation of juvenile or child employee) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. The victim, a teenager, is a native of Gumla distrcit in Jharkhand. She was rescued jointly by Childline, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, Gurgaon from the house of a doctor couple in the city. “The victim was not allowed to speak to her parents. She didn’t get any moey in return of her work. And whenever she requested her employers to allow her to go back to her home, the couple would beat her up,” said Kant.

Investigating officer Abhay Raj said, “The test will be done on September 4. We will make arrests only after the girl’s age is verified.” Activists however claim that the police should have arrested the accused, instead of waiting for the medical test. But with its current stand, the police have given breathing space to the accused, claimed Kant.

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