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NCPCR seeks report from Odisha on Ministers’ visits to school, college

The controversy over the murder of a teacher in Odisha’s Kalahandi district got thicker with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) seeking a report on the alleged frequent visits by Ministers to the campus of a school promoted by Gobinda Sahu, who is accused of the teacher’s murder.

On October 8, Sahu reportedly admitted to having killed Mamita Meher, a teacher at the Sunshine English Medium School at Mahaling in Kalahandi district. Since then, Opposition parties have questioned the regular visits by Ministers to the campus of a school and college promoted by Sahu. Most of the allegations insinuate sexual favours sought by influential Ministers and officers.

“The Commission has directed the State government to probe into the incident by recording the statements of students studying in the educational institute, in five days. The Superintendent of Police has also been asked to investigate allegations of the role of school authorities in sexual exploitation of boys and girls in the campus,” said NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo.

Earlier, the National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma had written to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, stating that Ministers in the State were using their positions for exploiting and sexually harassing women, and also manipulating police investigation into the case. She sought the removal of two Ministers.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) termed the NCW a “national joke” after it expressed strong disapproval over “interference” by the national women’s body. The BJD maintained that the police were investigating the murder. Senior BJD leaders said the commissions were acting at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which wanted to take “political advantage” ahead of panchayat and civic body elections.

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra on Sunday alleged that Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra was in touch with Sahu, and had tried to mediate between him and the victim before her killing.

All India Mahila Congress president Netta D’Souza on Sunday led a delegation to the victim’s family in Balangir district, and came down heavily on the State government for not sacking the Minister.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 11:05:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ncpcr-seeks-report-from-odisha-on-ministers-visits-to-school-college/article37152318.ece

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