Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 30:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha government to submit within six weeks an action taken report (ATR) on the alleged molestation of three tribal girl students inside the hostel by a watchman of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Bolangir district on March 24 this year.
The directive of the Commission came in response to a complaint filed by well-known rights activist and Odisha High Court advocate Prabir Das.
As per the complaint lodged by Das, three girls, two from class 8 and one from class 7 of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya at Kholan village under Titlagarh police station limits in Bolangir district, were allegedly molested by a male watchman while they were asleep inside their hostel room on the night on March 24.
Bringing to the notice of the Commission, Das said the shocking incident took place as the school authorities had allowed the watchman Ratnakar Ghivela to sleep inside the girls’ hostel premises, something that facilitated his alleged sexual assault.
Acting on an earlier directive of the Commission, the Bolangir SP had submitted a report of the SDPO, Titlagarh to the Commission on May 14 this year.
Though the authorities of the School and Mass Education department were well aware of several incidents of such nature happening since November 19 last year, it was only confined to departmental proceedings, the report said.
Having considered the facts discovered by the inquiry officer, the Commission, in an order issued on August 13 this year, directed the principal secretary, School and Mass Education to submit the ATR in the matter within six weeks.
It also asked SP, Bolangir to submit the status report of the investigation and the district collector to submit a report relating to financial assistance to the parents of girl victims under the SC/ST Rules 1995 within the said period.