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Odisha: Administrative apathy adds to misery of sexually assaulted girls

 

Monday June 09, 2014

Odisha, Kandhamal, Administrative pathy to Sexual Assault Victim  
 
"When Child Rights are talked about everywhere, cases of child abuse and sexual assault increase in an alarming rate in Odisha and, particularly, in Kandhamal district. The juvenile justice system, which could ensure justice to the victims in the aforesaid cases, is almost defunct in Kandhamal district."  
HNF Correspondent  
 

While cases of women atrocities and sexual assault on girls are increasing in Odisha, apathetic attitude of local as well as state administration makes life of the victims further vulnerable, says a letter written by a social worker from Kandhamal district to the Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Department of Odisha.

Divya Raphael, a social worker from K. Nuagam block of Kandhamal in Odisha has brought two cases of sexual assault on girls in her letter seeking financial assistance for education, psycho-social enhancement and justice. Both the victims are girl children from Dalit Christian Community of Kandhamal District. Of the two victims, one is a five year old girl children and the other is a 13 year old minor girl.

 

Case-1

A 13 yr old girl from Tiangia of G. Udayagiri block in Kandhamal district was allegedly raped on 24th October 2012, while going to the place of Dusserah Pooja, by 6 men (3 adults and 3 minors).

The incident with their daughter traumatised and frightened the Parents so much that they did not lodge a complaint at any police station in Kandhamal district. As the parents happened to be Bhubaneswar based daily wage earners, they approached the Child Right Commission after coming back to the city. But the commission remained rather indifferent towards their complaint. A case was only registered by women police station in Bhubaneswar. However, no action has been initiated from any side to ensure justice to the victim and end her plight.

The victim went under trauma since the incident. It is only after counselling and preliminary psycho-therapy assistance that she is just a bit better. But she has stopped schooling after the incident.

Case-2

A 5 year old girl from Sarangada of K. Nuagam was sexually assaulted allegedly by a 16 year old minor on November 14, 2012. Sarangadu police registered a case after the family of the victim filed a complaint in the police station. But there was no action by the Police as the accused was allegedly a minor. It was only after medical examination of the victim and continuous follow-up that the Sub-Collector only released a meagre 5000 rupees as assistance.

The victim is not sent to school by her family fearing that she may be humiliated for the unfortunate incident.

Present status

Both the victims and their families are in trauma since the unfortunate incidents happened with their daughters. They need to be based in safe place and environment to come out of the fear and trauma. The victims who have discontinued their education should be admitted elsewhere to continue their education. But, in stead of facilitating for the same, the administration has, rather, denied to admit these girls in the government hostels only because they are not from tribal communities but belong to dalit Christian (minority) category.

Even though the cases were brought to the notice of Odisha Child Right Commission and other concerned offices, no visible action could be initiated by any of them.

Actions sought

When Child Rights are talked about everywhere, cases of child abuse and sexual assault increase in an alarming rate in Odisha and, particularly, in Kandhamal district. The juvenile justice system, which could ensure justice to the victims in the aforesaid cases, is almost defunct in Kandhamal district.

The letter seeks a speedy follow up of the cases and juvenile justice system be made effective to ensure justice to the victims.

Apart from this, the letter also appeals for immediate financial Assistance for necessary psycho-therapy and education of the victims.

 
 

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