India’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered the removal of an old dental plaque from the face of missing children and ordered that the body be buried under a large mound in the central state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Supreme Court ordered the plaque be removed by July 25, saying that the “ill-considered” procedure had brought the country’s family planning and maternity services to a standstill.
The order came after the court ruled in April that the government should pay the children’s families as a compensation for the costs of removing the plaque.
In May, the Uttar Pradesh High Court ordered a probe into the government’s failure to remove the plaque, saying it was “in the interests of the society and the state” to do so.
A team of lawyers for the children were on Tuesday to file a writ petition to overturn the ruling, arguing that the procedure was “illegal and unconstitutional.”
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been a strong advocate of the government taking the decision.
The ruling is the latest blow to the government after it was forced to pay Rs.1,400 crore to a mother who was forced into hiding after her four-year-old daughter was kidnapped by a gang of villagers in the state.
The family of the missing child had sought compensation from the state government for her expenses and for the loss of her “right to life and dignity,” the family’s lawyer, Prashant Goyal, said.
“The state government, which has been in power for nearly a decade, has not done anything for the parents, who are still living in poverty,” Goyal said.
The government has been trying to find the girl’s whereabouts for nearly two decades, after the police raided the home of the family, accusing them of kidnapping her in the early 1990s.
The girl was later returned to her family.
The Uttar-Kashmir conflict began in 1998, when armed men from Pakistan launched a series of raids in the region to hunt down separatist fighters.
The violence killed at least 1,000 people and displaced millions of people.