Rs 5,000 each to 88 girls stripped as punishment: NHRC

Rs 5,000 each to 88 girls stripped as punishment: NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday asked Arunachal Pradesh government to pay Rs 5,000 each to 88 girl students who were forced to strip as a punishment for not revealing who wrote a vulgar note about the head teacher and a student.

These students of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Arunachal's Papum Pare district were asked to remove their clothes in front of the entire school as punishment on 23 November, 2017 by three teachers.

The NHRC direction came after it received a report from the state government confirming the incident and that the act of three teachers had been found "inhumane and cruel".

"Their action on minor girl students was against the basic human dignity and decency. After enquiry, the Education Department placed one teacher under suspension, while the two others were removed from the services," the NHRC said in a statement.

In its observation, the NHRC said that the report indicated that the state authorities "have failed in their responsibility" to protect the Right to Dignity of the girls for "which vicariously they are liable". The criminal proceedings initiated against the guilty teachers have been noted but the state government should also pay Rs 5,000 each as monetary relief.

While issuing a notice to the state government in last December, the NHRC had described the teachers' act as "sordid". "Teachers are always highly respected in the society as they play the role of a true guide and protector for their students. Such an inhuman and insensible act cannot be expected from them. Stripping minor girls, in front of the entire school, is unethical and cruel act committed by the teachers who were their lawful custodians and protectors, at that time," it had then said.

The three teachers were arrested after a case was registered under the POCSO Act while the girls were imparted emotional and psychological counselling. The government also served a show cause to the Chairman of Arunachal Farmers' Development Society which is running the school.

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