Confinement of RD students: DCP submits report to OHRC

Bhubaneswar: The deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Bhubaneswar on Friday submitted a report to the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on the alleged detention of Rama Devi university students in the varsity campus on December 3 last year.

In the report, the DCP has mentioned that the allegation levelled by the complainants against the university authorities was false.

After observing the report, the Commission has asked the complainants to file a counter reply by February 26.

On December 5 last year, the rights panel had directed the DCP to submit a report in this regard after students of the university filed a written complaint alleging that they were locked up in a room before chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to the campus on December 3. They had urged the commission to intervene in the matter and direct the State government to explain the reasons for their detention.

In their memorandum to the Commission, the students had said they were not allowed to attend the CM’s programme. “Many non-students were allowed to attend the meeting, but wer were not allowed in even after showing our identity cards. A few minutes before the programme started, Saheed Nagar police locked us up in a room,” read the memorandum.

The girls said when they brought the incident to the notice of university’s officer on special duty (OSD) Padmaja Mishra, she didn’t listen to them and threatened to rusticate them from the institution. The students also urged the rights panel to direct the State government to take action against the culprits.

Within hours of the incident, a political battle ensued with both Congress and BJP trying to corner the ruling BJD. While the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), BJP knocked the doors of National Commission for Women (NCW) seeking action against the culprits.

Refuting the allegation, the BJD had said that no girl was locked or confined to a room. The students were asked to come to the university in their uniform along with their identity cards issued by the institution. Those who were not in uniform were not allowed to enter the campus. The allegation of students being detained and locked inside rooms was baseles, the party had said.

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