Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik has ordered a probe by the Crime Branch into alleged
sexual abuse of tribal girls by staff members of a state-run
residential school in Nabarangpur district.
He gave the direction last night after Congress president
Sonia Gandhi recently instructed a delegation led by AICC
Secretary Jaydev Jena to visit the "victims".
Four minor girls of a school run by the Schedule caste
and Schedule Tribe Department at Badaambada village were
allegedly sexually abused by the staff of the school. So far
four persons, including the headmaster, were arrested in the
ST and SC Development Minister Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha
admitted that one of victims was "found pregnant", while
another girl claimed the headmaster forced her to terminate
"Both the girls were given Rs 50,000 each as
compensation," the minister said.
A four-member CB team, comprising two women officers,
visited the school as part of the investigations and spoke to
victims, Deputy Superintendent of police, CB, A Parija said.
Head Master Pradipta Kumar Sahu, teacher Iswar Bhatra,
peon Padman Bhatra and the husband of a cook at the girls
hostel were currently in jail in connection with the case.
The incident came to light after a lady teacher of the
school lodged a written complaint with the district collector
on March two.
The state government also received complaints of
tribal girls being sexually abused in Nayagarh district.
The issue was discussed in the state assembly recently
when MLAs cutting across party lines demanded stringent action
against those involved in "exploitation" of tribal girls.