Minister reveals names of rape victims in Assembly

Bhubaneswar: In a major gaffe, Odisha minister Lalbihari Himirika today disclosed names and addresses of five minor girls who were allegedly raped in different state-run schools.

Himirika, a prominent tribal leader from Rayagada district and the state’s S.T. & S.C. Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Minister, revealed names of the girls while replying a written question of BJP MLA Dilip Ray here.

The names and addresses of the victims were revealed in an annexure to the written reply.

Surprisingly, the minister revealed the identities when the question was made on the number of sexual harassment cases and other atrocities on the girls in residential schools run by the department.

Provisions of Section 228 (A) of IPC, which was amended, prohibits mentioning of the names or disclosure of the victims identities in rape related offences. The IPC also made provision of punishment with imprisonment for a term, which may extend up to two years, and liable to penalty for the offenders of the law.

Besides names of the rape victims, the annexure supplied by the minister also mentioned names of girls who were subjected to abuse in flithy languages, engaged in cooking and some subjected to both physical and mental harassment in the residential schools.

The minister also admitted that at least five minor schools girls, who were inmates of hostels, became pregnant during last three years.

Himirika said, “The government has suspended some school head masters, assistant hostel superintendents, assistant teachers and other sub-staff on the charge of sexual harassment of girls.”

In March, 2013, the then Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, had apologised for naming a victim of rape in Rajya Sabha.