A 16-year-old girl who tried to file a complaint of molestation in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur, is subjected to harassment in a video tweeted by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The head constable seen "interrogating" the teen has been removed.
On mobile phone video shot by the girl's brother - her family had gone with her to the police station - head constable Tar Babu, who initially refused to file an FIR, speaks to the girl in extremely objectionable language.
"Why are you wearing a ring? Why are you wearing a ring and this necklace? Itne item kisliye daale ho (Why wear so many 'items'? You don't study. So much jewellery, why are you wearing it? What's the use of these? This just shows what you really are...," the constable, sitting casually, barks at the girl after she recounts what she faced.
When the teen's parents try to intervene, they are rudely rebuffed by the constable, who says: "Don't you see what the girl does? You say you work, don't you ever come back home?"
The girl's parents are daily wagers. The police registered an FIR (First Information Report) only after the video of the interaction at the police station went viral in Kanpur.
Priyanka Gandhi was among those who expressed anger on social media.
"This is how they behave with a girl who has come to file a molestation report. On one hand, there is no let-up in crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh, and on the other hand, this is the conduct of those who are supposed to protect the law," she tweeted in Hindi, along with the mobile phone video that is being widely circulated.
The incident surfaced on a day the Supreme Court passed orders on a petition related to child abuse and asked for special courts to try child abuse cases. While hearing the case, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi remarked that "some amount of kindness, tact and zeal" needs to be displayed in cases related to the POCSO or Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The teen in the video apparently got the exact opposite treatment.
The Uttar Pradesh police say they are investigating what happened and will take further action against the head constable if required.