NHRC notice to the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and Union HRD Ministry over the reported stripping of 88 school girls as punishment in District Papum Pare (01.12.2017)

PRESS RELEASE

New Delhi, 1st December, 2017

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that 88 girls were forced to remove all their clothes in front of their entire school, as punishment by the three teachers, when they did not confess for having written vulgar words against the head teacher and another student on a piece of paper. The incident, reportedly, happened at the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, District Papum Pare, Arunachal Pradesh on the 23th November, 2017.

The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, calling for a detailed report in the matter along with action taken against the guilty teachers and steps taken for counseling of the victim students. The response is expected within 4 weeks.

The Commission has observed that the sordid act of the school teachers, as reported in the media, is indeed inexcusable. 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 a teacher. 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. The right to dignity of the innocent minor girls has been grossly violated and it will definitely take time for them to overcome the trauma.

The Commission has also asked the Secretary, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development to inform whether any guidelines for protection of the students from such maltreatment or humiliation have been made/circulated to the States, and if so, a copy of the same and status of their implementation be provided to the Commission within 4 weeks.

According to the media report, carried toady on the 01 December,2017, the victims and their parents approached the All Sagalee Students Union (ASSU) on 27th November, 2017. The ASSU reported the matter to the police and got an FIR registered. The police authorities have, reportedly, stated that they will examine the victims, their families and the alleged perpetrators - the teachers, and conduct an investigation into the matter.

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