An 11-year-old tribal girl student was raped allegedly by two teachers in a toilet of a state-run school in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district, sparking a statewide outcry and opposition parties demanding justice for the victim, police said on Friday.
The headmaster along with another teacher of the government-run residential school allegedly entered the toilet by force and raped the class 6 student when she was inside. The two accused were arrested and subsequently sent to jail after their production in the POCSO court, Nabarangpur, officials said.
“They were produced before special judge Pranati Saha who remanded them to 14-days judicial custody,” said public prosecutor Sacchidanand Swain.
Meanwhile, taking a serious note of the issue, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has sought a report from the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), Nabarangpur.
The OHRC has also directed the CDMO-cum-Public Health Officer (PHO) to submit a report within four weeks. The commission has told the CDMO to ensure proper treatment of the girl in the hospital.
The incident which occurred on Tuesday came to light on November 9 when the girl felt pain in the lower abdomen and told her parents what had happened. When she was taken to a hospital, doctors there said she might have been sexually assaulted, police said.
After her parents lodged a complaint at Kundei police station, the headmaster and another teacher of her school were picked up, interrogated and medically examined before being arrested on charge of gang rape, said Nabarangpur SP Rohit Verma.
Police said a case was registered against the teachers under several sections Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The victim was admitted in the district headquarters hospital at Nabarangpur where her treatment is going on, police said.
Meanwhile, opposition BJP and Congress came down heavily on the state’s BJD government and blamed it for the rise of crimes against women, particularly minor girls.
“There is no safety of women in the state. If the government does not initiate immediate action in the Nabarangpur school girl gang-rape case, our party will make it an issue and hit the streets,” said BJP spokesperson Sonali Sahu at a press conference in Bhubaneswar.
The BJP leader listed a number of ruling party leaders involved in women atrocities cases. Of the 65 MLAs facing different criminal cases, around 42 belonged to the ruling BJD, she pointed out.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Patnaik also formed a fact-finding team of 10 members headed by Jeypore MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati to make a spot visit and meet the gang-rape survivor and her parents.
District Congress Committee (DCC) president DCC president Monoranjan Tripathy in a press conference at Nabarangpur alleged that the tribal girls were regularly harassed and sexually assaulted in different state-run schools in the district. He announced that the party would launch an agitation seeking justice for the 11-year-old girl student.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)