Odisha: Mi­nor de­liv­ers baby in school hos­tel, six em­ploy­ees dis­en­gaged

Millennium Post - - Nation - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

PHULBANI/BHUBANESWAR: A mi­nor stu­dent of a state-run tribal res­i­den­tial school in Odisha’s Kand­hamal dis­trict has given birth in her hos­tel, fol­low­ing which six of its em­ploy­ees were ‘dis­en­gaged’, of­fi­cials said on Sun­day.

The 14-year-old girl, a stu­dent of class eight, de­liv­ered a baby girl in the school hos­tel on Satur­day night, Kand­hamal Dis­trict Wel­fare Of­fi­cer (DWO) Charu­lata Mal­lick said.

The school, Seva Ashram High School, at Dar­ing­badi in Kand­hamal dis­trict is run by the SC and ST devel­op­ment de­part­ment of Odisha.

The stu­dent and her new born were on Sun­day ad­mit­ted to Phulbani sub-divisional hos­pi­tal. Doc­tors said their con­di­tion was nor­mal. With the gov­ern­ment fac­ing sharp crit­i­cism from the op­po­si­tion over the in­ci­dent, SC and ST Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Ramesh Ma­jhi said the dis­trict col­lec­tor had been asked to probe the in­ci­dent and sub­mit a de­tailed re­port on the cir­cum­stances un­der which the girl got preg­nant and de­liv­ered the baby.

“The gov­ern­ment has taken a se­ri­ous view of the in­ci­dent,” he said in Bhubaneswar.

Strin­gent ac­tion would be taken against those re­spon­si­ble. The po­lice are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter, he added.

Mal­lick said a third year stu­dent of Dar­ing­badi Col­lege, who is a res­i­dent of Takalmaha vil­lage, has been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the in­ci­dent.

Dis­trict Col­lec­tor D Brunda said two ma­trons, two cookcum-at­ten­dants, a lady su­per­vi­sor and an aux­il­iary nurse mid­wife of the in­sti­tute were dis­en­gaged from ser­vice for dere­lic­tion of duty. The gov­ern­ment has also rec­om­mended sus­pend­ing the school head­mistress Radha Rani Dalei on the same charges, Brunda said.

“As per the direc­tion of the gov­ern­ment we have taken strin­gent steps against the er­rant (em­ploy­ees) and al­ready sub­mit­ted the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­ports to it,” the dis­trict col­lec­tor said. The girl on Sun­day al­leged that soon af­ter she de­liv­ered the baby, the two were driven out of the hos­tel, forc­ing her to take shel­ter in a nearby jun­gle. The two were traced by Mal­lick and the lo­cal po­lice on Sun­day morn­ing and taken to hos­pi­tal.

The po­lice were in­formed by the lo­cals, who also staged a demon­stra­tion and put up a block­ade on Na­tional High­way 59 de­mand­ing im­me­di­ate ar­rest of the cul­prit and stern ac­tion against the school head­mistress and the hos­tel war­den.

The road block­ade was

lifted af­ter se­nior of­fi­cials re­as­sured the lo­cals. Mal­lick, who vis­ited the school, said a po­lice team in­ter­ro­gated sev­eral peo­ple, in­clud­ing the hos­tel su­per­in­ten­dent. Op­po­si­tion Con­gress and BJP launched a scathing at­tack on the state gov­ern­ment over the in­ci­dent.

Pres­i­dent of state Con­gress women’s wing Su­mi­tra Jena de­manded Ma­jhi’s res­ig­na­tion and said the in­ci­dent proved that the BJD gov­ern­ment had failed to pro­vide se­cu­rity to girls and women. State BJP

leader Rabi Naik al­leged the state gov­ern­ment was not con­cerned about women and girls, par­tic­u­larly those be­long­ing to tribal com­mu­ni­ties.

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