Death of minor in school: Rights panel orders compensation

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Human Rights Commission has ordered a payment of Rs.310,000 as compensation to the bereaved parents of a minor girl who died in an accident in her school last year, a petitioner said on Tuesday.

Acting on a petition filed by rights activist and lawyer Prabir Kumar Das, the commission comprising acting chairperson Justice Bira Kishore Mishra and member Bijay Kumar Patnaik has also directed the state government to send a compliance report within the next six weeks.

According to Das, 11-year-old Tilottama Patra, a Class Six student of an upper primary school in Ganjam district (142 km from here), went to the toilet on the school premises during recess on October 16 last year.

The toilet was under construction and suddenly collapsed on her. She sustained critical injuries.

The girl died at the Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati Medical College and Hospital the following day, he said.

Although the state government paid a compensation of Rs.110,000 to the parents of the girl (Rs.10,000 from the Red Cross and Rs.100,000 from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund), Das had moved the commission seeking more compensation for the family.

The commission in its judgment fixed the compensation at Rs.310,000 and directed the state government to pay the remaining Rs.2 lakh to the family, Das told IANS.

“We are firmly of the view that the incident was entirely avoidable and could have been prevented if the concerned authorities discharged their duties with due diligence,” the commission said in its order.

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