An 11-year-old tribal girl student in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district was allegedly raped by two teachers in a state-run school toilet, leading to a statewide outcry and demands for justice from opposition parties, according to police reports on Friday.
The headmaster, along with another teacher from the government-run residential school, allegedly forced entry into the toilet and assaulted the class 6 student. Subsequently, the accused teachers were arrested and sent to jail following their appearance in the POCSO court in Nabarangpur.
“They were produced before special judge Pranati Saha who remanded them to 14-days judicial custody,” stated public prosecutor Sacchidanand Swain.
In response to the incident, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has sought a report from the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), Nabarangpur. The OHRC has directed the CDMO-cum-Public Health Officer (PHO) to submit a report within four weeks and ensure the proper treatment of the girl in the hospital.
The incident, which occurred on Tuesday, came to light on November 9 when the girl reported pain in the lower abdomen to her parents, revealing what had happened. When taken to a hospital, doctors suggested she might have been sexually assaulted, according to police.
After the parents filed a complaint at Kundei police station, the headmaster and another teacher were picked up, interrogated, and medically examined before being arrested on charges of gang rape, as reported by Nabarangpur SP Rohit Verma.
A case was registered against the teachers under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The victim is currently undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospital in Nabarangpur.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP and Congress strongly criticized the BJD government in the state, holding it responsible for the surge in crimes against women, particularly minor girls.
“If the government does not initiate immediate action in the Nabarangpur school girl gang-rape case, our party will make it an issue and hit the streets,” warned BJP spokesperson Sonali Sahu.
The BJP spokesperson listed several ruling party leaders involved in women atrocities cases, highlighting that of the 65 MLAs facing different criminal cases, around 42 belonged to the ruling BJD.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Patnaik formed a fact-finding team to visit the site and meet the gang-rape survivor and her parents, with the district Congress committee president announcing an agitation seeking justice for the 11-year-old girl student.
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