Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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NHRC notice to UP secretary over Tantrik called to treat girls fell sick after eating mid-day meal in govt school

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary over the reported incident of a Tantrik being called to treat 15 girl students, who fell ill after eating a mid-day-meal at a government school in Mahoba.

“The commission took suo motu cognizance of the media reports that the administration of a state-run school in Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh called a Tantrik to treat 15 girl students, who fell ill after consuming a mid-day meal,” the NHRC said in a statement, adding that the students were reportedly taken to hospital after police intervention.

The statement cited media reports published on December 21 that showed a video purportedly showing the girls being subjected to sorcery by a Tantrik came to the notice of the police, who chased him away before taking the ill students to the local community health centre for treatment.

“Most of them are in the age group of 9 to 13 years,” the commission said.

“Reportedly, the villagers had blamed ghosts in the school for the illness of their children,” it added.

The NHRC observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amount to human rights violations of the victim students, who instead of being taken to a hospital for treatment by the school authorities, were reportedly subjected to superstitious practices at a government-run school.

“Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the chief secretary, government of Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter within 4 weeks,” the statement said.

It is expected to include the steps taken or to be taken to ensure that this type of incident should not recur in the future in the state.

Issuing the notice, the commission said that apparently, a sub-standard mid-day meal was served to the students leading to their illness, which is indicative of the apathy of the concerned authorities.

“The school teachers are expected to educate the students and not to make them believe in such superstitious malpractices,” the statement added.

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