Things are moving pretty fast in Maharashtra. The current Thackeray family who was in power a fortnight back is now facing legal troubles. The Thackerays were already struggling to keep their flock together. Now they may soon have to lose control over the party, Shiv Sena and its symbol. But their troubles don’t end there. A new storm has engulfed the Thackeray scion, Aaditya Thackeray. Apparently, his so-called ‘Save Aarey’ protest has landed him in trouble. If things are taken to their logical conclusion, he may have to face punishment for the same.
Actions for violating the law
It seems that the Ecofascists have awoken from their slumber. The decision of the Shinde-Fadnavis government to go ahead on the path of development has rattled the ecofascists and left-liberal lobby. They have restarted their so-called protest to save the Environment. On July 10th, Former Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray led the so-called protestors. They protested against the government’s decision to build Mumbai Metro car shed 3 on the Aarey site. President of Yuva Sena Aaditya Thackeray and other ‘activists’ protested under the banner of ‘Save Aarey’. Former Minister Aaditya also uploaded pictures of the protest on social media platforms.
Aarey is a unique forest within our city. Uddhav Thackeray ji declared 808 acres of Aarey as Forest and the car shed must move out. Our human greed and lack of compassion cannot be allowed to destroy biodiversity in our city. pic.twitter.com/YNbS0ryd8d
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) July 10, 2022
In those pictures, children can be seen holding placards and staging a political protest. A lot of people spoke against this and criticised former Minister Aaditya Thackeray for using minor children for his political protest. Some of them wanted legal action against these protestors.
Soon the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) swung into action. NCPCR Registrar Anu Chaudhary wrote a letter to the Mumbai Commissioner of Police, Vivek Phansalkar. In the letter, the NCPCR registrar asked Mumbai CP to register an FIR against Aaditya Thackeray and others for using minor children in the protest/political campaigns and so-called “Save Aarey” campaign.
The registrar Anu Chaudhary made this recommendation after a complaint was received from an organisation named Sahyadri Rights Forum which had accused Aaditya Thackeray of using minors in the ‘Save Aarey’ protests.
National Comission for Protection of Child Rights directs Mumbai Police to lodge FIR against Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray for using minors as labour during #SaveAarey protest campaign. @AUThackeray @MumbaiPolice pic.twitter.com/pTmFBaxozd
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) July 11, 2022
What are the legal sections that were violated in the so-called ‘Save Aarey’ Protest?
The commission under section 13 sub-section (1) clause (j) of the CPCR Act,2005 was of the opinion that on the prima facie it looks like the protestors were in contravention of Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Child & Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Article 21 (Right to Life) & Article 23 (Right to protection from forced labour) of the Constitution of India and relevant Sections of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The NCPCR registrar in the letter wrote, “In view of the above, the Commission thereby requests you to investigate the matter urgently by lodging an FIR against the accused person(s) at once. The children should be identified and produced before the Child Welfare Committee as per Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 for recording their statements. An action taken report along with a copy of FIR and statement of children may be shared with the Commission within 3 days of receipt of this letter.”
It seems that either the Thackeray scion Aaditya Thackeray has no knowledge of the rule of law or the loss of power has deeply impacted his line of thinking. To use children for political protest/campaign shows that he has zero political acumen and zero knowledge of the law.
If it is true then it is shocking to note that such a legally unaware amateurish politician was a Minister, thanks to his father being the CM of the state. This also proves why dynasties within political parties are a curse for Indian polity. But having said that ignorance of the law is not an excuse, so if the allegations hold, he may have to face the music.
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