Mysterious deaths of tribal students in govt residential schools in Odisha, ILAI seeks NHRC actions

On 10 August 2022, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notice to Superintendent of Police (SP), Nuapada district of Odisha calling for action taken report regarding the death of 6-year-old tribal girl student at Nehena Sevashram (ST/SC Residential School) hostel under Nuapada Tehsil in Nuapada district on 3 August 2022.

The NHRC registered the case (3047/18/30/2022) pursuant to a complaint filed by the Indigenous Lawyers Association of India (ILAI) on 8 August 2022.

The deceased tribal student allegedly fell ill at the residential school, run by Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Department on 2 August 2022. However, the school authorities/teachers allegedly took her to the Sub District Hospital in Naupada on 3 August after her condition deteriorated. She died during treatment.

The NHRC directed the SP, Nuapada to reply within four weeks.

This is not one off case.

Earlier on 28 July 2022, a 15-year-old tribal boy, a Class 10th student of a government-run tribal residential school at Pandupani village under Tiring police station in Mayunbhanj district, Odisha died after having dinner. The deceased student went to sleep after dinner but did not respond when his roommates tried to wake him up. He was taken to hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The NHRC intervened in this case (2859/18/9/2022) following a complaint filed by ILAI.

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