CUTTACK: The Orissa high court on Friday took cognizance of growing incidents of the alleged sexual exploitation of tribal girls in government residential schools and sought response of the state government on the matter.
A division bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra on Friday issued a notice to the state government and ordered it to file a reply within two weeks. The direction came in response to a petition filed by human rights activist Prabir Das highlighting the plight of minor girls who were allegedly being exploited sexually in various government-run residential schools for tribal children.
The petitioner alleged the state government has failed to ensure safety of tribal girls in these residential schools. He also highlighted the plight of a class IX student of Ramachandrapur Government Girls’ High School in Balangir, who was allegedly raped by two of her teachers inside a toilet of the school last year. Similar incidents wee also reported from Sunabeda Sevashram in Koraput and Bada Amba Sevashram in Nabarangpur, where minor tribal girls were allegedly raped by school staff. The petitioner said these incidents were just the tip of the iceberg, and urged the high court to pass necessary orders for prevention of sexual exploitation of minor girls in these schools.
“I have filed a PIL seeking compensation and rehabilitation for these victims. I have also prayed the court to pass necessary orders for prevention of sexual exploitation of minor girls in residential schools,” he said.