The NCPCR, or National Commission for Protection of Children's Rights, has issued a notice to Twitter India, directing it to delete a photo posted by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi that reveals the identity of the Dalit girl whose alleged rape, murder and forced cremation in Delhi has sparked furious protests.
The picture was posted by Mr Gandhi on Wednesday morning, after he met the young girl's family at their residence in Delhi Cantonment's Old Nangal village. It shows the Congress leader and the parents, both of whose faces can be seen, seated inside a vehicle as they have a conversation.
"Revealing the identity of the girl by tweeting a photo of her parents (is) in violation of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act... The NCPCR, taking cognizance of this, has asked Twitter India to issue a notice to Rahul Gandhi and remove the post," the NCPCR tweeted.
एक पीड़ित बच्ची के माता पिता की फ़ोटो ट्वीट कर उनकी पहचान उजागर कर #POCSO ऐक्ट का उल्लंघन करने पर @NCPCR_ ने संज्ञान लेते हुए @TwitterIndia को नोटिस जारी कर श्री राहुल गांधी के ट्विटर हैंडल के विरुद्ध कार्यवाही करने एवं पोस्ट हटाने के लिए नोटिस जारी किया है। pic.twitter.com/cVquij6jx3— प्रियंक कानूनगो Priyank Kanoongo (@KanoongoPriyank) August 4, 2021
In its notice - addressed to Twitter India's Resident Grievance Officer - the child rights body said it was acting on a complaint that the photo "reveals the identities of the girl" by showing her parents.
The NCPCR reminded Twitter India that under the Juvenile Justice Act and the POCSO Act it is illegal to disclose the identity of a minor via any form of media, or publish any information or photograph that may, in any way, reveal his/her identity.
Earlier today Mr Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal each met the girl's family.
After his visit Mr Gandhi tweeted the image of the parents with this caption: "Her parents' tears are saying only one thing - their daughter, the daughter of this country, deserves justice. And I am with them on this path of justice."
Mr Gandhi yesterday called the girl "the nation's daughter" - a pointed reference to accolades for India's women Olympians, who have been widely referred to as "the country's daughters" after their medal-winning exploits.
Mr Kejriwal expressed sorrow over a "loss can't be compensated" and promised support from the Delhi government in ensuring those guilty of the crime receive the maximum possible punishment.
The Chief Minister also announced Rs 10 lakh in ex-gratia for the family.
Three days after the gruesome incident, Delhi Police have yet to confirm cause of death.
Ingit Pratap Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East Delhi), told NDTV the postmortem was inconclusive, and said the accused would take a lie detector test.
The priest of the crematorium where the girl's body was found - who had persuaded the mother to cremate her child without a police complaint - and three others have been arrested, and face charges that include child sex abuse and crimes against scheduled castes and tribes.
On Sunday, the nine-year-old, from a poor family, went to a crematorium near her home to fetch drinking water from a cooler but she never returned.
Around 6 pm, locals who knew the cremation ground priest, Radheshyam, called her mother to the crematorium and showed her the body of her daughter. They claimed she had been electrocuted.
The priest and his companions told the mother not to inform the police. "Go home and sleep. Don't shout and cry about it," the girl's mother quotes the priest as saying while the body was cremated.
Later, however, the parents raised an alarm and the police was informed.