Mangaluru: As many as 48 cases of sexual offenses against children were reported from Dakshina Kannada so far during the Covid pandemic, revealed Dakshina Kannada Senior Child Protection Officer and Assistant Superintendent of Police Gaana P. Kumar on Saturday.
She said that 48 cases were registered under the POCSO Act in Dakshina Kannada this year. Four cases under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act have also been reported during this period.
Speaking during a public interaction program organized by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights at the Gram Panchayat auditorium here, the police officer asked the children to be cautious when sharing information online.
She said that several cases of cyber crimes against children were reported during the lockdown period. Especially during online classes, children got introduced to the internet and social media. They got hold of mobile phones sharing information online. There were cases of cyberstalking, as the cyber predators could easily get information shared on social media and chats, she said.
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There were also instances where the information provided when recharging mobile phones at shops was misused. Therefore, parents, as well as children, should also be careful about their online safety, Gaana P. Kumar cautioned.
Many are unaware of the dangers lurking in the shadows of the online world. Children should be aware that their online activity and social media accounts can be monitored by others, she said.
Presiding over the program, the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairman D. Shankarappa said that the public interaction with children was a one-of-a-kind initiative to listen to the hardships of children during the Covid pandemic and try to find solutions to them.
The commission has begun the process of hearing children’s grievances and will try to redress them at various levels. The children will first raise their problems at the district level for redressal. Those problems that are solved at this level will then be elevated to the divisional-level or State-level meeting, he added.