NHRC issues notice over suspicious deaths of 500 tribal girls

The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday expressed concern over the reported suspicious deaths of 500 tribal girls in State-run ashram schools over the past decade and issued a notice to the Chief Secretary calling for a detailed report within six weeks.

“Reportedly, there have been instances of sexual abuse of the girls by the teachers and staff of these schools,” said an NHRC press release. The commission also observed that the contents of the news reports were “indicative of the violation of the right to life and dignity of girl students studying in these schools and the negligence and apathy on the part of the authorities”.

“It seems the State government has not taken any initiative to redress the grievance, which is a serious matter of concern because it has not submitted a report as yet to a notice issued on October 10, 2016, on the similar allegations that 740 tribal students had died in Ashram shalas in 10 years, despite a reminder on November 26, 2016. A probe has revealed that the authorities keep menstruation records of the girls and conduct urine tests on them to rule out pregnancy, whenever the girls miss their periods or come back from the vacations,” the commission alleged.

Mentioning a recent case of sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in Buldhana district of Maharashtra, the NHRC said that over 1,500 students, including 700 girls, lost their lives in such schools in the State over the past 15 years.

Maharashtra has nearly 1,100 State-run and aided tribal residential schools catering to about 1.6 lakh female and 2.3 lakh male students.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 9:21:08 AM |

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