Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rayagada, Mar 25:
A local court in Odisha’s Rayagada today acquitted a British woman Narges K Asthari convicted last year in connection with the death of a child.
Rayagada ADJ court acquitted 28-year-old British woman of Iranian origin Narges Ashtari overruling the lower court verdict which had convicted the social worker on charges of negligence resulting in a child’s deaths.
In December last year, Rayagada Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate’s (SDJM) Court had sentenced Narges to one year in jail and imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh to be paid as compensation to the deceased’s family.
“The court said that the woman is of foreign origin and she had visited Odisha in connection with social work. Her case was unnecessarily dragged for two years in a false case. The court further said that she could seek for compensation from government if she wishes to,” Narges’ counsel Pratap Chandra Das said.
Narges was running an orphanage Prishan Foundation for differently-abled children in Rayagada. In November 2014, Narges along with other inmates of the Foundation had taken Aseem to the outskirts of Rayagada town for a picnic. While the picnickers were crossing the Nagavali river on a hanging bridge, Aseem fell into the river and was killed.
Following the incident, Aseem’s father-Peter had lodged a complaint with the police against Narges and Foundation’s Secretary Jewel Raju Gupta. A case was registered under section 304 (B) of IPC against the woman.
Raju Gupta was acquitted by the lower court last year due to want of evidence.
“We had produced the same evidences produced before the lower court in higher court also, which did not accept them. The court acquitted the woman. We would examine the case after getting the judgement copy and decide further course,” Public Prosecutor Maheswar Mohapatra said.
Notably, Narges had launched an online petition to support her as she pleaded innocence.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had also sought a report from the state government over the issue. However, she had expressed her inability to intervene into the matter as it was sub judice.