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The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked a Jharkhand official to take action in a case in which three arrested school girls were treated as adults and sent to jail, a statement said Wednesday.

According to the commission, the girls should have been tried under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and lodged in an observation home and not in jail.

The girls were arrested from the site of a shootout between police and a Maoist squad in October.

The commission wrote to the district collector of Khunti district asking for immediate action in the case.

An NCPCR statement, quoting the letter, said: ‘The commission received a complaint from the Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression regarding three school girls who have been allegedly arrested on Oct 30 and sent to jail.’

‘The girls have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Arms Act and the Explosives Act. The girls were treated as adults without verification of their age and then produced in court where they were remanded to judicial custody and sent to Khunti jail,’ it added.

‘The commission has taken a very serious note of the violations involved in the case. The girls must be produced in front of the Juvenile Justice Board, their age be verified and then they should be sent to an observation home,’ an NCPCR official said.

‘They should also be provided adequate legal aid, if not already given, and any loss in their education must be compensated,’ the official added.

The commission’s statement has also been forwarded to the chief of the Juvenile Justice Board in Jharkhand and district superintendent of police.

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