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During Rajya Sabha Debate on POCSO Amendments, Derek O'Brien Recalls Trauma of Being Molested

File photo of TMC leader Derek O'Brien.

File photo of TMC leader Derek O'Brien.

Derek O' Brien said children should be encouraged to speak up and not hide incidents wherein they have been traumatised in this manner.

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress member Derek O' Brien on Wednesday recalled his childhood trauma of being "molested" in a bus in Kolkata while speaking on a bill which provides for the death penalty for aggravated sexual assaults on children.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was introduced in the Upper House by Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, was later approved.

While "happily and strongly" supporting the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Rajya Sabha, the former well-known quizmaster also suggested more and more people in public life come out and speak about sexual abuses. He said children should be encouraged to speak up and not hide incidents wherein they have been traumatised in this manner.

"With a lot of pride and sadness and hurt but I think India needs to know because my family knows, that on a bus in Kolkata as a 13-year-old after doing tennis practice, wearing short pants and a T-shirt, I got on to a crowded bus and I don't know who it was, but with my short pants and T-shirt I was sexually molested," he said.

The senior TMC member recalled that he did not speak about the incident for several years, and brought it up with his parents much later in life.

Cutting across party lines, Rajya Sabha members supported the amendments, with a majority of them making a case for creating awareness among children to report about "good touch and bad touch".

AIADMK leader Vijila Sathyananth also supported the bill and demanded chemical castration of convicts committing such heinous crimes.

In an emotionally charged speech, Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party recalled the Nirbhaya case involving the gangrape-murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi in December 2012. Bachchan said only amendments will not solve the problem and time-bound investigation was crucial along with prosecution and proportionate compensation.