Minor Odisha tribal girl found pregnant in hostel, officials launch probe
Officials in Odisha’s Koraput district are on the lookout of a cook at a residential school for tribal students after a minor inmate of its hostel was found to be five-month pregnant, in the latest incident of sexual assault of tribal girls in educational institutions.
Koraput district welfare officer Madhusmita Mahapatra said the Class 9 girl was repeatedly raped by the cook.
“We have received a complaint that after the girl was found to be pregnant, the school authorities left the girl at her home and didn’t lodge any police complaint. The cook has not turned up at the hostel after May 15. We are trying to nab him,” said Mohapatra.
Mohapatra said a complaint would be lodged with the police.
Last month, a man was arrested by Bhubaneswar Police for allegedly impregnating a minor inmate living in a girl’s hostel run by the state’s ST & SC development, minorities and backward classes welfare department.
In January this year, a 14-year-old student of a tribal school in Kandhamal district delivered a baby in the toilet of the school hostel. The girl was sexually assaulted while she had gone home during summer vacations.
The rise in the number of such cases has prompted the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights to write to the Odisha government to take steps to spread awareness on POCSO Act and sensitise children, parents, teachers, police and staff dealing with children on child sexual abuse especially in rural and tribal belts of the State.
“Such regular episodes of abuse create a sense of doubt about the well being of the children living at distance from their families,” the NCPCR had said.