Panaji, May 12 (IANS) A child welfare committee (CWC) on Thursday warned the media against publishing anything that will reveal the identity of a minor girl who has accused Goa legislator Atanasio Monserrate of sexually exploiting her.
The warning follows circulation of the victim’s photos and name on WhatsApp as well as publication of her whereabouts in some newspapers in Goa.
“The CWC of North Goa has taken a serious view as the whereabouts of the girl and origin are being published in few newspapers from May 5, 2016, without following the provisions of laws and media ethics,” a statement issued by the CWC said.
Monserrate, an unattached MLA, was arrested last Thursday for allegedly buying the minor girl for Rs.50 lakh from Rosy Ferros, who had in turn allegedly purchased her from her mother. The legislator is also accused of sexually exploiting the victim.
The CWC warned the media against publishing details about the victim’s past and making subjective comments about her.
“The committee has directed that in no way this victim’s privacy has to be compromised as her safety is of paramount importance by bringing it to the notice of media that reports are published giving the details about past of the said minor girl,” the CWC said.
“It would be unethical to provide the news or comment about the said minor victim girl, without having authentic information.”
A CWC has been designated by law as the final district-level authority for the care and protection of vulnerable children.