Taking suo motu cognisance of reports of several tribal girls’ death in ashramshalas, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tuesday pulled up the state government and demanded a report within six weeks. The notice has been issued to Maharashtra Chief Secretary over violation of right to life and dignity of girls studying in these schools in tribal pockets.
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According to the notice, the state has 1,100 state-run and state-aided ashramshalas where over 1.6 lakh girls and 2.3 lakh boys reside. “Over, 1500 students including 700 girls have reportedly lost their lives in these schools in the past 15 years. Sexual abuse is also suspected to be a reason behind these deaths,” the notice said.
NHRC had issued a notice first in October 2016 followed by a reminder in November over the high incidence of deaths amongst girl students. The state government has not till date submitted a report. “Over 500 Scheduled Tribe girls have died under suspicious circumstances in the state-run ashram schools of Maharashtra over the past decade. Reportedly, there have been instances of sexual abuse of the girl students by the teachers and staff of these schools,” the NHRC notice observed.