Teacher death case: NHRC asks Odisha govt to initiate inquiry

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New Delhi: The NHRC today asked the Odisha government to initiate a police inquiry into the case of alleged assault and setting ablaze of a woman teacher for her refusal to withdraw a complaint of sexual harassment and sought the action taken report within six weeks.

It also asked the state to pay Rs 5 lakh as interim relief to her family.

In a statement, the commission said it has recommended that the government of Odisha pay Rs 5 lakh as interim relief to the next of kin of the teacher, who died after she was assaulted and set ablaze in Rayagada district, when she refused to withdraw her complaint against a school inspector for sexual harassment.

The incident happened at the school hostel in Kashipur block of the district.

The rights panel has also asked the state government, through its chief secretary, to get the entire matter enquired by the CBCID and sought an action taken report in this regard within six weeks.

NHRC had received a complaint from a local NGO about the teacher's ordeal while she was struggling for her life in a hospital. A notice was issued on November 6 to the Director General of Police and Secretary in the Department of School Education calling for a report in the matter within six weeks.

However, on November 7, the Commission received another communication from the NGO about her death. The complainant has alleged that the authorities concerned had taken no action against her senior despite several complaints made to them by her.

"She had joined the school on June 18 as a contractual teacher and ever since she was being sexually harassed by the school inspector. Her family members have alleged that the accused were enjoying political patronage," the statement said.

The complainant also informed that the accused school inspector and district inspector of schools have since been suspended. The Commission has also obtained copies of the orders of dismissal of two police personnel of Tikri Police Station issued by the state government.
 

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