New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that at least 34 girl students in Supaul district of Bihar were brutally beaten up by local youths for opposing sexual harassment on October 6.
The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of Bihar, calling for a detailed report in the matter including status of medical treatment of the injured students, measures taken to step up security at the hostel schools and action taken against the unruly group of people named in the complaint.
Their tormentors included students of the adjacent Middle School and their parents. The mob had reportedly a free run, vandalizing the school which is exclusively for the girls belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, OBC and minority communities.
While issuing the notices the Commission has also observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amount to the violation of human rights of the victim girls. Going by the media reports, it is apparent from the sequence of the incident that there is serious security lapse at the girls’ school, where the miscreants entered at their free will, committed the brutal act and fled from the spot.
The administration should have taken timely action when the issue was raised by the girl students regarding routine sexual advances by the local youths. The victim girls have been beaten up when they were in the custody of a government-run hostel school. The incident has raised issue of safety of the girl students studying in the state-run hostel schools.
As per the media reports, carried on the 8th October 2018, the District Magistrate, Supaul has reportedly narrated the sequence of events that some of the girls confronted a few local youths and some Middle School students for writing vulgar messages on the school’s wall. Both KGBV and the Middle School are on the same campus with separate buildings but a common playground. The youths sexually harassed the girl students following which the girls beat them up. Later in the evening, the boys called their parents and got the girls beaten up with sticks and rods.
It is mentioned in the news reports that the injured girl students were first taken to primary health centre but they were so badly injured that two of them had to be taken to Supaul Sadar Hospital, while 32 other students of Class VI to VIII were sent to Triveniganj Referral Hospital. The warden alerted the security guard and called up the local administration but the miscreants were able to flee from the spot.
The Superintendent of Police, Supaul has reportedly stated that KGBV authorities have named nine people in their complaint and two of them have been arrested. Four persons have been detained for interrogation and others are absconding. Reportedly, the State Education Minister has assured that the Education Department will take steps to ensure the safety of the girls in the school, especially the residential ones.