NHRC notice to UP govt, DGP over alleged sexual exploitation of girl students by instructor at govt school

Sexual assault
Representational image.

The NHRC has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state police chief over reports that an instructor allegedly sexually exploited girl students at a government school in Shahjahanpur district, officials said on Wednesday.

It is reported that 13 students aged 12-16 had allegedly become victims of sexual exploitation by the computer science instructor till the matter was brought to the notice of police by parents, and he was arrested, the National Human Rights Commission said in a statement.

The NHRC said it has taken suo motu cognisance of the media report. Two other teachers have been suspended who despite being aware of the incident, “did not take any action”. The incident reportedly has shattered the confidence of girls, the rights panel said.

The Commission observed that the content of the media report, if true, amount to a violation of the human rights of the victim students.


Accordingly, it has issued notices to the chief secretary, and the director general of police, Uttar Pradesh seeking a detailed report in six weeks, including action taken against the perpetrators, and the current status of the investigation, counselling and statutory relief provided to the victims, the statement said.

The Commission would like to know the status of the compensation paid to the victims or families so far, and whether any counselling has been provided to the girl students who are reportedly “scared and hesitant to attend the school”, after the incident.

The state government is also expected to ensure that proper guidelines are issued to all the schools under their jurisdiction to make sure that there should not be any delay or attempt to conceal the facts of any untoward incident on the part of school authorities from the police so that the perpetrators are nabbed without any delay, it said.

In another matter, the NHRC said it has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that some prisoners lodged inside the Bathinda Central Jail went on hunger strike demanding better facilities and has sought a report from the Punjab chief secretary and director general of prisons.

The demands by the inmates include an increase in the number and duration of phone calls to their families and lawyers in pursuance of the prison manual, according to an NHRC statement.

Reportedly, such a strike by the prisoners is not new to this jail as in 2021 also some prisoners had gone on a hunger strike alleging poor food quality, it said.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to a serious concern about the basic human rights of the prisoners as permitted under law.

Accordingly, it has issued notices to the chief secretary and the director general of prisons of Punjab, seeking a detailed report within four weeks.

The reports must contain the steps taken or proposed to be taken as per the Model Prison Manual, 2016. Apart from this, the Commission has also asked its Special Rapporteur, Mahesh Singla to inspect the Bathinda Central Jail and submit a report at the earliest, it said.

According to the media report, carried on May 15, the prisoners have also been demanding facilities to go outside the barracks for walks and smooth top-up of their canteen cards, which are presently facing issues.

They are asking for the installation of televisions in their barracks, for entertainment.

About 15 days ago also, these inmates had gone on a hunger strike, but called it off after an assurance from jail authorities to look into their demands, the statement said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)