Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) [India], May 19 (ANI): An inquiry is being conducted into the incident of a minor girl cleaning a room in the presence of police constables in Atmakur town of Nellore district.
The four police constables had come from Kavali town for escort duty at Government Junior College Atmakur for spot valuation of intermediate exams. The room allocated to constables was cleaned by a seven-year-old minor girl, who is the daughter of college watchman.
The matter came to light on Monday when a Telugu newspaper published a report that the police personnel had allegedly made the minor girl child clean their room.
Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) Usha Rani visited the centre on Monday and held an inquiry into the incident. She said that it is a crime to compel a minor to work, and she is conducting an inquiry into the matter.
"There is a newspaper report alleging that a minor girl was asked to clean a room in the new junior college building. After instructions from senior officials, I have come here to conduct an enquiry. Letting children work is a violation of child rights," said Usha Rani.
The issue came to the notice of AP DGP on Monday evening. Taking the matter seriously, DGP said: "how constables can stay silent when a minor child is working in front of their eyes?" The DGP has ordered Nellore SP to take departmental action against the constables.
Krishna Prasad, the watchman of school and father of the minor, stated that he was cleaning the rooms of the building one by one. "My daughter is so active that she started cleaning the room by herself. Even though I asked her to leave the work she did not listen," Prasad said.
He and his wife work at the Government Junior College Atmakur.
Atmakur DSP Maqbool informed that intermediate spot valuation centre has set up on the premises, this year. Four personnel have been deployed for guard duty there and they had reached on Sunday, he said.
"Meanwhile, this morning a story is published in vernacular media that minor girl is deployed for work. In fact, Krishna Prasad the watchman at the college lives on the same premises with wife and four children. He has been unwell for the past some time. In fact, the watchman and his wife were cleaning the rooms," said Atmakur DSP Maqbool on Monday.
"During the inquiry, it was learned that the woman went to finish her domestic chores. Meanwhile, the girl continued with her mother's work. Our constables were there in that room. In fact, getting rooms cleaned is not the duty of police but that of the education department. The photo in the paper shows only the police, but the girl's parents and other staff were also there. It is untrue to allege that the police compelled the girl to work," added Maqbool.
The DSP further said that an inquiry into the matter is being held, and disciplinary action will be taken on the constables if it is found that they are guilty. (ANI)