Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 13:
As if the failure to provide security from rape and sexual abuse to girls in schools run by the Odisha government was not eneough, ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Minister Lal Bihari Himirika today brought further embarrassment to the government with his unpardonable faux pas in disclosing the names and other details of five minor girls allegedly raped in various state-run schools across the state.
While replying to a written question by BJP MLA Dilip Ray in the state Assembly, the tribal leader divulged the names and addresses of the girls in an annexure to the written reply.
The tribal leader from Rayagada inadvertently revealed the identities while replying to a question on the number of sexual harassment cases and other atrocities on girls in residential schools run by the ST & SC Development department.
In his reply, the minister also admitted that at least five minor school girls of the residential schools became pregnant in the last three years.
“The government has initiated action against the erring school headmasters, assistant hostel superintendents, assistant teachers and other sub-staff and suspended them,” the minister said.
Notably, provisions of Section 228 (A) of IPC, which was amended, prohibits making public the identity of a rape victim or related offences. The offence is compounded when the victim is a minor. It has provision of punishment with imprisonment for a term of up to two years and penalty under this law.