By Manasi Nene
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, perhaps unwittingly, made a massive mistake online that ended up hurting everyone involved. Victims of sexual assault – especially minors – are not supposed to be named or identified in any kind of media. But, of course, he went ahead and did just that by posting a photo on Twitter.
A 13 year old was reportedly kidnapped from Bhattiprolu town in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, by Nama Siva Nageswara Rao, an ex-BSF officer. He then took her to Jammu and Kashmir, where he introduced her to everyone as his daughter, and forcefully kept her there for a month and a half. However, the police managed to find her, and brought her back to Andhra Pradesh.
In a meeting between Naidu, AP Women’s Commission Chairperson Nannapaneni Raja Kumari, the girl and her parents, they all took a group photo that was later posted on Naidu’s personal Twitter account, and his personal Facebook page. At the time of writing this article, it still hasn’t been taken down. That’s 19 hours on Facebook and 20 hours on Twitter – surely someone has pointed out how problematic this is?
Sunitha Krishnan, a well-known activist and co-founder of the NGO Prajwala, told The News Minute that publishing a photo identifying a minor by name and face is technically an offence under the Juvenile Justice Act, so Naidu could be in a whole lot of trouble. However, a child’s rights activist, Achyuta Rao told the News Minute that he felt posting the picture was justified, since it was in the interest of the survivor–in the caption of the picture, Naidu says he extended emotional strength and financial support to the family. But is good intent enough? Hopefully this was a mistake that won’t affect the girl badly in the future.