Monday, March 8, 2010

Falling for hoax

Coomi Kapoor writes in the IE

“Last year, Sandhya Bajaj, a member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), flew to London to attend a UN-sponsored international conference. The government spent almost a lakh on Bajaj’s airfare and the advance for hotel reservation. When Bajaj landed in London, she discovered to her shock that there was no conference and no hotel booking in her name.

The invitation to the non-existent UN-sponsored conference and subsequent messages had all come on email and no one had checked their authenticity. A case was filed with the cyber cell of the Delhi Police but there has been no progress in the last 10 months. An embarrassed NCPCR in any case does not want to pursue the matter. The Ministry for Women and Child Welfare and the External Affairs Ministry, which cleared the trip without suspecting anything fishy, are also culpable. The Indian High Commission in the UK was not consulted for verifying the bonafides of the organisers. Nor did anyone bother to check with the UN office in Delhi.

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