NHRC notice to Odisha government on minor giving birth at school


New Delhi [India], Jan 14 : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notice to the Odisha government in a case that pertains to the delivery of a baby girl by a 14-year-old girl, student of Class 8, at the hostel of a state-run tribal residential school in Kandhamal district on January 12.
The NHRC acted after taking suo-motu cognizance of the media report regarding the incident. The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks regarding action taken against the guilty and relief/ rehabilitation as well as counseling provided to the victim.
Reportedly, after the delivery, the victim along with her new born baby was driven out of the hostel and was forced to take shelter in a nearby jungle. The girl along with her baby was traced with the help of local police on January 13 and admitted to a hospital.
“The girl belongs to Scheduled Tribe, hence, the Commission would also like to know details of the sections under which FIR has been registered and status of statutory relief as per provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Rules, 1995,” read the notice.
“The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, amount to gross violation of human rights of the minor girl who, apparently, became the victim of the apathy and gross negligence of the school administration,” it said.
“The state is responsible for the safety and security of the girl students, residing in the residential schools. It is apparent that the school head-mistress and hostel warden have failed to protect the poor girl while she was in their custody and due to their negligence she has suffered mental agony and social stigma,” said NHRC in its notice.
Meanwhile, locals protested against the incident at the Kandhamal. The Superintendent of Police (SP) Prateek Singh, said : “Preliminary inquiry revealed that 7-8 months ago when the victim went to her home, she was raped by a 23-year-old man in her village.”
“On the basis of this information police immediately detained the accused. The administration has also taken immediate action against the school staff,” he added.

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