National Human Rights Commission has asked Odisha government to pay compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to 13 students, who were allegedly sexually exploited by their teacher in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Nayagarh district.

“Human rights of the students were violated and that too in an educational institution. In the circumstances, the Commission recommends the Government of Odisha to pay a sum of Rs.1lakh to each of 13 victim students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya,” NHRC said in its direction.

The commission asked Chief Secretary of Odisha government to send the proof of payment, within eight weeks.

According to Prabir Das, a human right activist and lawyer, who had moved the commission, adolescent boys were subjected to sexual harassment by their computer teacher namely Chandra Sekhar Choudhury for 18 months in the residential school.

The accused teacher being the warden of the hostel of the said residential school had taken advantage of his position forcing students to have sexual relation, Mr. Das had submitted.

“The matter came to notice of the district administration after the parents of the victim boys approached the collector, Nayagarh in September. An inquiry was ordered. The probe ascertained that allegations were not unfounded. Thereafter the principal of the school lodged a complaint  with police. The accused teacher was arrested on September 23, 2012,” he noted.

NHRC in its order said the Commissioner to the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti had submitted that since the victims had expressed their satisfaction for the action that had been taken against the accused teachers and openly said that they had forgotten the incident and had taken up their routine academic works smoothly, compensation might not be imposed on the Samiti to be paid to the victim students.

The commission held the State government responsible for lapses in school leading to victimization of students.