Child rights body seeks report on Rehana Fathima's controversial video with kids

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked Kerala Police to ascertain whether the issue amounts to sexual harassment of children.
Rehana Fathima
Rehana Fathima
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The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Thursday asked Kerala Police to conduct an inquiry in the case of Kerala activist Rehana Fathima who posed semi-nude in front of her minor children.

On June 19, Rehana Fathima shared a YouTube video on Facebook of her two children painting on her semi-nude body, with a hashtag #BodyArtPolitics. According to Rehana, the video was meant to dispel the societal taboo on nudity and sex. 

The NCPCR, in a letter to Kerala police chief, said through the inquiry it needs to be ascertained whether the issue amounts to sexual harassment of children and violation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The child rights body further said the children might have suffered mental trauma and need to be counselled.

"It is regrettable that a mother has involved her children in such an indecent act. Due to this and the legal proceedings, possibly children had suffered mental trauma. So they may require counselling. Counselling to the children must be ensured through the District Child Protection Unit and the Child Welfare Committee," it said.

"An action taken report of this matter may please be submitted to this Commission within seven days from the date of receipt of this communication," it said.

In a bid to arrest the activist, though police officials reached her house in Kochi, Rehana was found to be missing and arrest could not be made.

Rehana was one of the activists who in 2018 attempted to enter Sabarimala temple in Kerala following the Supreme Court order allowing women of all ages to enter the hill shrine. But the attempt had failed with the protest by many male devotees. Earlier, she was also arrested for a Facebook post which allegedly hurt the sentiments of Ayyappa devotees.

(With inputs from PTI)

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