An 11-year-old student from a tribal community in Odisha's Nabarangpur district was reportedly raped by two teachers inside a restroom at a government school. The incident came to light on November 9 which led to widespread outrage across the state, with opposition parties calling for justice for the young victim.
The accused, the principal, along with another educator from the state-operated boarding school, following their appearance in the POCSO court in Nabarangpur were arrested and subsequently incarcerated, as per officials' statements.
Details Of The Incident
As reported by NDTV, the incident came to light when the little girl experienced lower abdominal pain and confided in her parents about the incident. Upon taking her to a hospital, doctors suggested that she may have been a victim of rape.
Subsequently, following a complaint filed by her parents at Kundei police station, the headmaster and another teacher from her school underwent questioning and medical examinations before being arrested on charges of gang rape.
Authorities reported that charges were filed against the teachers under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The victim is currently receiving treatment at the district headquarters hospital in Nabarangpur.
Human Rights Organisation Takes Note
Expressing grave concern over the matter, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has requested a report from the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) in Nabarangpur.
The OHRC has further instructed the CDMO, who also serves as the Public Health Officer (PHO), to furnish a report within four weeks. The commission has emphasized the importance of ensuring the girl's proper medical treatment in the hospital.
Opposition Calls For Action
The opposition parties, BJP and Congress, strongly criticized the BJD government in the state, holding it responsible for the surge in crimes against women, especially minor girls.
At a press conference in Bhubaneswar, BJP spokesperson Sonali Sahu asserted that there is a lack of women's safety in the state. She warned that if the government fails to take immediate action in the Nabarangpur case, the BJP will make it a prominent issue and take to the streets.
Sahu also pointed out that among the 65 MLAs facing various criminal charges, approximately 42 are affiliated with the ruling BJD.
Meanwhile, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Patnaik assembled a 10-member fact-finding team, led by Jeypore MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati, to conduct a site visit and meet with the survivor and her parents.
During a press conference in Nabarangpur, the District Congress Committee alleged that tribal girls in different state-run schools in the district were routinely subjected to harassment and sexual assault.
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