New Delhi :
The case of the death of a four-month-old infant in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh has been termed as a violation of the “Right to Life” under the Constitution by twelve-year-old Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, who was recently awarded the National Bravery Award by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Zen, a resident of Mumbai and student of Class VII of Don Bosco International School, Matunga, has written to the Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde to issue directions to stop children and infants from participating in the demonstration. Shaheen Bagh has been the epicentre of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.
Moved by the death of the four-month-old, Jahaan Mohammed who was brought by his parents to the Shaheen Bagh protests, Zen has urged the CJI to direct the Delhi Police to conduct a proper investigation into the cause of his death.
Zen, who received the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) bravery award for 2019, has written a five-page letter to the CJI stating the incident has shaken her as a citizen.
“Right to Life under Article 21, was violated of the four-month-old child, who accompanied his mother every day to the Shaheen Bagh demonstration,” said Zen speaking to IANS. The mother has reportedly cited severe cold and cough as a probable reason leading to the demise of her baby.
Zen has sought investigation from the authorities into the matter in which the parents claimed that the death certificate did not mention the reason of death, the media reports said.
“The police failed to stop children from participating in such gathering/agitation, which is harmful to their health,” said Zen on police in-action.
However, her parents Gunratan and Jaishree Sadavarte made it clear that “Zen is not opposed to the Shaheen Bagh protests and has only sought to highlight the pain of children and infants which amounts to ‘torture and cruelty’ especially as they can’t express their anguish”.
“The writ or direction may issue to the authorities to stop children and infants from involving in the demonstration and agitation which amount to torture and cruelty,” said Zen in the letter, which can also be considered as a petition.
She emphasised that newborn babies need extra care and the protesters are ignoring the unfavourable conditions in which the children are put, which violates child rights and natural justice.
“Newborn babies need a lot of attention and care as they cannot express their pain, thereafter ignoring the conditions unfavourable to the children; they are brought to the protest place, which is violative of their child rights and natural justice,” said Zen in the letter.
Zen, in her letter, has pointed out that little Jahaan’s Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution was violated as he accompanied his mother daily for the protests and after returning home at 1 a.m. on January 30, passed away in his sleep.
While Jahan’s mother has said that he may have succumbed to the winter chill of the national capital, Zen said many of the participants (in Shaheen Bagh) bring their children and infants to the long hours of protest which is violative of their juvenile rights and natural justice.
She also sought to blame the parents – Arif Mohammed and Nazia, the Delhi Police and the organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protests – for alleged negligence which resulted in Jahaan’s death.
She urged the CJI to direct the police and other authorities concerned to conduct a full-fledged investigation into the death of the baby.
“It is very surprising that the death certificate issued by the hospital has not mentioned any specific reason for the death, in that case, it is mandatory to undergo medical investigation including post-mortem…,” the letter reads.