NHRC notices to the Government of Maharashtra and Union Defence Secretary over reports of sexual assault on a school going girl by an army personnel (28.11.2017)

PRESS RELEASE

New Delhi, 28th November, 2017

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports, carried today on the 28th November, 2017, about a 15 year old girl, who has been expelled from the school in district Latur, Maharashtra on the ground that the reputation of the institution will be tarnished as she had approached the police for a complaint against an army personnel for raping her on the pretext of marriage but only to leave. Reportedly, the local police also harassed the victim and her family demanding Rs. 50,000/- to get the FIR registered in the case, which was, eventually, registered only after they approached the police superintendent.

The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Maharashtra and the Collector & District Magistrate, Latur calling for factual reports within four weeks.

The Commission has also sent a copy of the proceedings along with the related media reports to the Union Defence Secretary to inform about the departmental action taken against the guilty army official. The response is expected within 4 weeks.

The Commission has observed that going by the contents of the media reports the attitude of the local police authorities and the school administration appears to be highly sadistic and unethical. The Commission by way of its proceedings while considering such complaints and during its other activities has strongly expressed that the victims of sexual assault are to be dealt with utmost care in a sensible manner with an approach to help them overcome the trauma. The concerned police officer has acted in a heartless manner. The school authorities, instead of taking steps to counsel and support the victim, have decided to expel her from the school in the name of the reputation of the institution. This is a case of grave violation of human rights of the victim.
*****