Kids get books with sex, violence at Comic Con

One of the comics’ covers

The recent Comic Con exhibition in Whitefield was meant to be a weekend of innocuous fun for children. But parents were shocked to see comics with explicit pornographic content being handed out to visitors. The issue took the social media by storm with many parents expressing outrage.

The 7th Comic Con held on November 17 and 18 at KTPO Trade Centre witnessed several activities, drawing several children. Visitors were handed over a bag comprising a comic book, a sticker, a T-shirt and scribbling pad. Though the comic books had the content of Saga — a popular space fantasy comic series — it had objectionable content.

According to parents, neither the kit nor the books had any disclaimer about the graphic content, age restrictions or parental supervision.

Following this, a parent who attended the event with her eight-year-old, wrote on Facebook, “We talk about child safety in India. Children, including my 8-year-old daughter at Comic Con were handed out comics with graphic sex and violent content by the organisers. This was in the goodie bag my child got along with her ticket, the wristband and a Batman poster (sic).” “Shame on you,” she wrote with fury.

She added, “Please help escalate this terrible, shocking and scary matter. Absolutely negligent and illegal to give children obscene, age-inappropriate pornographic reading material (sic).”

Another parent posted, “We as parents are shocked and horrified. This is beyond inappropriate to be handed out to any child (sic).” She even demanded that the organisers clarify and explain the reason behind their callousness.

“This is the most horrendous stuff I have seen from so-called civilised people. Comic Con, here in Bangalore handed over these sexually explicit comics to kids and many parents didn’t even know the content until the child scavenged through quite a bit. Totally unacceptable. Disgusting this is (sic),” another post said.

A comment on one of the Facebook posts read, “You need certain maturity and discernment to digest certain content. And healthy and open discussions with your children are important for any parent. Some parents are cool with whatever their kids read but they are an exception. Anyway, distributing this to an eight-year-old in broad daylight is worse than lurking in the dark web. Quite creepy and audacious. Comic Con needs to be penalised for this (sic).”

Meanwhile, a few parents filed a case with the Baiyappanahalli police against the organisers. Though the parents urged the police to book a case under provisions of the Pocso Act, the police registered the case under various sections of the IPC.

DCP (East) Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad confirmed to Deccan Herald that a case was registered. “We have registered a case as the parents live within our jurisdiction. But as the event was organised in Whitefield, we have transferred the case to the Whitefield police. During investigations, further sections of the IPC or provisions under Pocso will be invoked if necessary,” he said.

However, the organisers apologised for the howler. “We sincerely apologise for the inadvertent mix-up that has occurred at Bengaluru Comic Con 2018. In almost 7 years of our show, we have never had such a thing happen. We as an organisation neither support nor promote such content for the underage audience,” said the Comic Con India Communications Team.

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Kids get books with sex, violence at Comic Con

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