Private SC/ST Hostel under scanner after students lodge police complaint

Rayagada: A private residential hostel housing at least 102 SC/ST students has come under scanner after the boarders lodged a police complaint alleging torture and mismanagement by the hostel staff.

Following the complaint, the District child welfare department has directed authorities of the Gunupur-based Sagar Jyoti hostel to submit a list of documents in a week’s time.

The students in their complaint alleged that despite charging a hefty sum as fee, they were being ill-treated and forced to accommodate in bad living conditions.

“The hostel has been running illegally. The students were not being provided quality food. Besides, they were being physically abused and beaten up for small mistakes,” a parent said.

“Recently, one of the students sought permission to visit his home but he was denied. Later, he left for home without informing anyone. Upon his return, the staff thrashed him very cruelly,” a student informed.

Meanwhile, guardians of the students are reaching the hostel to take their children home.

“The authorities had charged us Rs. 10,000 per student for providing food, accommodation and clothing, but they cheated us,” rued Satapathy Bagha, a guardian.

Officials from the District child welfare department, who conducted a field inspection of the hostel, confirmed that the buildings lacked basic infrastructure. “The hostel warden was absent during the probe and has been ordered to present necessary documents within 7 days,” a CWC official said.

“We received a complaint from two hostel inmates against the hostel manager on August 10. An inquiry has been initiated and the authorities have been asked to submit their papers within 7 days,” stated, Rabindra Kumar Patra, Inspector-in-charge, Gunupur.