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New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a class VI student of a state-run residential school for girls,Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidayalaya in Garhwa district in Jharkhand, became pregnant and was forced to consume abortion pills by the school administration to prevent the institution from falling into disrepute. However, as the medicine was given without consulting a doctor, the girl’s condition worsened to an extent that she had to be rushed to Garhwa Sadar Hospital where she was found two months’ pregnant. Doctors carried out a proper abortion to save her life.

The NHRC has observed that the contents of the news report are not only shocking but painful. The rights of the victim girl to life, dignity and medical care have been violated due to the negligent and irrational act of the school authorities, according to an NHRC release. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand, calling for a detail report in the matter within four weeks. He has also been asked to inform the commission about the steps taken for relief, medical care and proper counselling of the victim girl, the NHRC release said.

According to the media report, carried on January 29, 2017, the incident happened on January 24, 2017, and her family was informed two days later.  The school authorities remained tightlipped about the incident. Reportedly, the police authorities have said that punitive action will be taken if the victim’s family lodges a complaint. However, the District Education Superintendent has stated that a probe is on and the truth will come to the fore. The victim was in trauma and not in a position of speak.

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