Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 25:
Taking strong exception to the gross failure of the Odisha government in providing adequate security to a nine-year old tribal girl student of a Sevashram, who was raped by a peon on the night of December 29 last year in Bolangir district, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a reply from the state government within six weeks as to why a monetary relief of Rs 3 lakh will not be recommended to the family of the victim under section 18 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
The directive of the Commission came in response to a complaint lodged by well-known social activist and lawyer Prabir Kumar Das.
It may be mentioned here that the victim, a Class IV student of Sevashram, a residential school run by the ST/SC Development department, at Kushumal under Saintala police station limits, was raped by the peon who barged into her room in an inebriated condition.
The girls’ family had lodged a complaint in this regard with the Saintala police on December 31.
Taking up the case on behalf of the victim, Das later filed a complaint with the NHRC seeking its immediate intervention, following which the rights panel issued a directive to the state government on November 7.
The Commission on December 24 had received a letter from the Director (ST)-cum-additional secretary, who, along with the letter, had enclosed the reports of the Bolangir district collector and the District Welfare Officer dated November 1 wherein it was stated that the girl was indeed raped and that the accused was arrested on November 1 after being removed from the job with effect from October 31.
Taking note that the district superintendent of police has not submitted the requisite report relating to the case, the Commission later directed the SP to place a detailed record of the case.
Considering the appeal of the petitioner that the state government must bear the liability for failing to protect her while she was in its custody as an inmate of a government run institution and ensure her human rights, the Commission has issued a show cause notice to the government through its chief secretary seeking replying in six weeks as to why a compensation of Rs 3 lakh be not recommended to be paid to the victim.