Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 10:
The Odisha government is trying desperately to get a stay order from the Odisha High Court on the direction of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) asking it to disburse Rs 3 lakh relief to each of four tribal girl students, who were allegedly sexually abused by a teacher and a peon at Gadiseshkhal sevashram in Rayagada district in 2011.
The state government has, so far, failed to comply with the NHRC recommendation for payment of the compensation amount.
The SC and ST Development department has asked the Advocate General to list the case in the court for hearing so that it can file a status report to the Commission, which had sought it from the department within six weeks on 4 June this year.
The deadline ends on July 16.
Acting on a complaint filed by human rights activist Subash Mohapatra, the Commission had directed the state chief secretary to make payment to each of the victims on 31 August 2012.
However, the department instead of disbursing the amount to the four victims had moved the court against the direction of the Commission on the advice of the Law department on 25 May 2013.
Later, the Commission observed that there was no operating stay order on its recommendations for payment of compensation and asked the state government to comply and submit the proof of payment to the victims of sexual abuse.
However, in response, the commission received a report on 13 February from the Director-Cum-Additional Secretary, ST & SC Development Department seeking two months’time for submission of the requisite reply.
Although the time sought for was over, the government did not pay the amount and not filed the requisite report to the Commission. Now, the commission has directed the department to file the requisite report before July 16.
It is to be noted here that four girls, two each of Class III and IV, of Gadiseshkhal sevashram in Kolnara block had lodged a complaint with district collector accusing an assistant teacher, Narendra Meneka, and a male peon, Lingaraj Kulusika, of sexually harassing them, in 2011.
The sevashram is run by the SC and ST Development Department.