NHRC notice to the Government of Jharkhand over pregnancy and abortion of a class VI student of a State run residential school in Garhwa district (30.01.2017)

PRESS RELEASE



New Delhi, 30th January, 2017

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a class VI student of a state-run residential school for girls-Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidayalaya in Garhwa district of Jharkhand became pregnant and was forced to consume abortion pills by the school administration to prevent the institution from falling into disrepute. However, as the medicine was given without consulting a doctor, the girl's condition worsened to an extent that she had to be rushed to the Garhwa Sadar Hospital where she was found two months' pregnant. Doctors carried out a proper abortion to save her life.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report are not only shocking but painful. The rights of the victim girl to life, dignity and medical care have been violated due to the negligent and irrational act of the school authorities. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. He has also been asked to inform the Commission about the steps taken for relief, medical care and proper counseling of the victim girl.

According to the media report, carried on the 29th January, 2017, the incident happened on the 24th January, 2017 and her family was informed two days later. The school authorities remained tightlipped about the incident. Reportedly, the police authorities have said that punitive action will be taken if the victim's family lodges a complaint. However, the District Education Superintendent has stated that a probe is on and the truth will come out to the fore. The victim was in trauma and not in a position of speak.
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