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The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to social media websites Facebook and Instagram against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for “revealing the identity" of a nine-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and murdered in Delhi. 

The apex child rights body has said that Gandhi's posts with photos of the family of the victim violated the law.

In a letter to Facebook on Friday, the commission said it has come across a video posted on the Instagram profile of Gandhi wherein the identity of the victim minor girl's family has been disclosed.

In this video the faces of the father and the mother of the deceased girl can be clearly seen, which is in violation of the prescribed provisions of law, it added.

Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking platform, is owned by Facebook.

The NCPCR asked Facebook for taking appropriate action against the Instagram profile of Gandhi over violation of provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and the Indian Penal Code, and demanded the removal of the video from the platform.

On 4 August, the NCPCR had asked Twitter and the Delhi police to take action against the Congress leader. Following this, the microblogging site blocked the account of Gandhi.

Twitter has said it has followed due process as Gandhi's tweet on the family of the victim was against its rules and the law.

Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, prohibits the disclosure of identity of a child in any form of media and Section 23 of the POCSO Act, 2012, also states that no information or photo of a child should be published in any form of media which could reveal the identity of the child. This information under Section 23 of the POCSO Act includes his/her name, address, photograph, family details, school, neighbourhood or any other particulars which may lead to disclosure of identity of the child.

"Therefore, posting of the video of the minor victim's family on social media platform-Instagram has been observed by the Commission to be a violation of Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Section 23 of the POCSO Act, 2012, Section 228A of the IPC and the guidelines of the Hon'ble Court as well.

"In view of the same, the Commission deems it appropriate to take suo-moto cognisance under Section 13(1) and notice under Section 14 of the CPCR Act, 2005 in this matter," the NCPCR said.

"Accordingly, the link to the Instagram video is being forwarded for taking appropriate action against the Instagram profile of Rahul Gandhi for violation of provisions of JJ Act, 2015, POCSO Act, 2012 and IPC and removal of the Instagram video from the platform," it added.

Gandhi last week met the family of the nine-year-old girl and asserted that he is with them on the path to justice and "will not back down even an inch".

Later, he posted a picture of his meeting with the girl's parents on Twitter and wrote in Hindi, "Parents' tears are saying only one thing their daughter, the daughter of this country, deserves justice. And I am with them on this path to justice".

The incident 

On August 1, a nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a priest and three employees of a crematorium near Delhi Cantonment in southwest Delhi, the police had informed.

Delhi Police registered a case against four accused on the basis of the statement of the minor's mother who alleged that her daughter was raped, murdered and cremated without their consent on Sunday.

The accused have been booked under Sections 302, 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, along with the relevant sections of the POCSO Act and the SC/ST Act.

Hundreds of locals, including the victim's parents, have been staging a protest near the site of the incident, demanding capital punishment for the accused. 

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