Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 20:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Odisha government to pay additional compensation Rs 2.5 lakh to the next of kin of the girl student who died a day after falling into a cauldron filled with mid-day meal at her school on August 24, 2013.
“The chief secretary is directed to expedite the matter and make the payment of additional monetary relief of Rs 2.5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased Banita Kanhar and send a compliance report along with proof of payment within six weeks,” the Commission said in an order.
The directive of the Commission came in response to a petition filed by well-known lawyer and social activist Prabir Kumar Das.
The Commission had earlier observed that the compensation of Rs 50,000 paid to the family of the deceased was grossly inadequate and issued a show cause notice to the state government through its chief secretary as to why additional monetary relief of Rs 2.5 lakh under section 18 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, be not recommended to be paid to the next of kin of the deceased.
Not satisfied with the reply of the state government, the Commission ask it to pay the damages to the next of kin of the girl.
The class III girl student had sustained severe burn injuries after falling into a cauldron filled with hot curry prepared for mid-day meal in a government residential school under the SC and ST Development department on August 24.
She was admitted to a primary health centre (PHC) from where she was referred to VSS Medical College and Hospital, Burla and later shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack where she succumbed to her injuries on August 25, 2013.
The parents of the girl student later approached the NHRC on August 26, 2013 through their advocate Prabir Kumar Das.