Bindu Krishna, president of the Kollam District Congress Committee, has been protesting against the Kerala police for the delay in tracing the 15-year-old girl from Rajasthan who went missing on March 18 from her house at Oachira in Kollam. However, the Congress leader reportedly committed a grave error while demanding justice for the girl’s family. Bindu posted a picture on her Facebook page, in which she is seen posing along with the minor’s family.
Based on a complaint filed by Mavelikkara-based advocate Mujeeb Rahman, the Oachira police booked Bindu under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on Saturday night, for posting the picture on the social media platform. “She posed along with the parents of the girl and put this on Facebook, thus revealing the identity of the minor,” a police official at the station told TNM.
The Sub-Inspector at the Oachira station told TNM that Bindu has been booked under Section 23 (1) and (2) of the POCSO Act, 2012. POCSO prohibits any form of reports that disclose the identity of a child, including his/her name, address, photograph, family details, school, neighbourhood or any other particulars that may lead to the disclosure of the identity of the child. Any person violating these provisions will be liable to be punished with imprisonment of up to one year or with fine or both.
The girl and her family, who are from Rajasthan, settled in Oachira nearly two years ago. On March 18, a gang of four people broke into their house and took the 15-year-old girl away after reportedly assaulting her father.
Three members of the gang were arrested on Wednesday and the rented vehicle they used was also seized.
The girl and the main accused, 19-year-old Mohammed Roshan, are yet to be traced. Roshan is the son of CPI Branch Secretary Navas. The Kerala police have deployed a team of investigating officers in Bengaluru, where the two were known to be last. On Friday, another team was sent to Rajasthan to carry out an investigation.
A few days after the incident, Bindu started protesting about the apparent apathy by the police in finding the girl. She even went on a 24-hour hunger strike in front of the girl’s house on Friday demanding justice for the family.
In his complaint to the police, Mujeeb said that on March 21, Bindu Krishna posted a picture on her Facebook page in which she is seen having a meal along with the girl’s family. The complaint also mentions a photo posted on March 22, where Bindu is seen posing along with Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and the minor’s family.
The two posts have been deleted from the said Facebook page, the SI said.
While the complaint also seeks action against those who shared the posts, the police said that it has not mentioned any names. “Only after an inquiry can we decide, but we have registered an FIR against them,” said the SI.
He added, “Meanwhile, we have to first verify if the said Facebook page belongs to Bindu Krishna; if yes, we have to check from whose laptop or smartphone these posts were uploaded.”