A court in Odisha’s Rayagada district on Monday sentenced an Iranian national to a year’s imprisonment and fined her Rs 3 lakh on charges of causing the death of a tribal child due to negligence.
The Jeypore subdivisional judicial magistrate’s court sentenced Nargis K Ashtari, a 35-year-old Iranian woman, on charges of causing the death of a six-year-old boy. The court let off another accused due to lack of evidence.
Ashtari secured bail after the sentence was announced.
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Born in Isfahan, central Iran, the Iranian-British Nargis arrived in Rayagada district three years ago and started an NGO, Prishan Foundation, in Mukundpur village, 30 km from Rayagada town. The NGO started an orphanage for 30 children, including 12 visually challenged ones.
Rayagada public prosecutor Sachidanand Khardanga said that in November 2014, Ashtari and her associates took the children for a picnic to a hanging bridge near Nagabali river. While taking a bath in the river, six children were washed away and five of them were rescued. Aseem Kilkara, a six-year-old blind boy, could not be traced.
Aseem’s father Peter Kilkara, the warden in the orphanage, lodged a police complaint against Ashtari and NGO secretary Raju Gupta accusing them of negligence. Khardanga said the court could not find enough evidence against the associate of Nargis. Lawyers for Nargis said they would challenge the verdict in the higher court.