Rayagada court acquits Iranian charity worker in criminal case

Rayagada: Iranian-origin British charity worker Narges K. Ashtari was today acquitted by the Rayagada Additional District Judge (ADJ) court of charges of causing the death of a tribal child due to negligence at Prishan Foundation in 2014.

Clearly mentioning about the acquittal of Narges Ashtari in the criminal case due to lack of adequate evidence, the court further stated the Iranian charity worker can file a petition seeking compensation from the Odisha government as she had been forced to suffer for the last two years in a false case filed by the district administration.

Pratap Chandra Das, counsel for Narges, said, “The ADJ court also asked the Iranian charity worker to appeal again if she wants an ex gratia from the Odisha govt as she had been put in distress for two years in a false case.”

Meanwhile, government pleader Maheswar Mohapatra said the State would appeal before a higher court against the Rayagada ADJ court verdict after examining the order pronounced today.

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Mohapatra added, “The evidences presented in the lower court has not been accepted in the Rayagada ADJ court.”

Notably, on December 5, 2016, the Rayagada Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court had convicted Narges K. Ashtari in the criminal case and sentenced her to one-year jail term and imposed Rs 3 lakh fine.

On November 3, 2014, Narges, the Iranian woman running Prishan Foundation at Mukundpur under Kolanara block in Rayagada district, and Raju Gupta, secretary of the foundation, had taken 30 inmates of the charitable organisation to Jholapala for a picnic.

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While playing close to Nagabali river, two boys were washed away in the water current. Though one boy was rescued, Asim Jilakara went missing in the river water.

Following the mishap, Asmi’s father Peter Jilakara, who was working as warden in-charge then, had filed a case in the Rayagada police station against Narges and Raju Gupta holding the duo responsible for their negligence causing the child death.