During an intense discussion on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, TMC MP Derek O’Brien revealed he was “sexually molested” as a 13-year-old in a crowded bus and urged people to speak about such cases.
“As a 13-yr-old, after tennis practice and in short pants and t-shirt, I got on a crowded bus. I was sexually molested, it was reason enough for an unknown man to ejaculate at shorts of this boy. I didn’t speak about it, till I brought it up once much later in my life with my parents,” Derek said in the Upper House. Follow Parliament LIVE updates
O’Brien urged more and more people, MPs and actors to come out and speak about sexual abuses. “We need to use this forum to reach out to people. The more people talk about it, the more children will be saved. Let’s work towards prevention of this heinous crime,” he said.
After 28 MLAs spoke on the POCSO (Amendment) Bill, Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani applauded the TMC leader for going public with his abuse.
“These incidents leave an imprint on the mind. After 46 years of the incident, O’Brien revealed to the world what happened to him. We should applaud this,” Irani said.
Following a lengthy debate, Rajya Sabha passed the bill that increases the punishment of aggravated penetrative sexual assault from 10 years to 20 years. The bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by Irani on July 18, 2019, and it amends the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The Act seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography.