The villagers are demanding a community feast from the family for pregnancy of their daughter before marriage.
Three weeks after the headmaster of a tribal residential school in Odisha’s Koraput district was arrested on charges of impregnating a minor tribal girl, the victim’s family is facing social boycott.
Early this month, the victim’s father lodged an FIR accusing the headmaster of the government residential school of forcing his daughter into a physical relationship with him.
The victim is a standard 9 student.
Doctors ruled out abortion as the child is five months pregnant.
Amid their troubles, villagers have been demanding a community feast as a ‘purification ritual’ since the girl was impregnated before marriage.
“I am a daily labourer. The community feast would cost me at least Rs 30,000. How can I arrange such a big amount. Besides, I need money for regular health check up of my daughter,” said the victim’s father.
He said the district administration is yet to provide him any assistance.
District welfare officer of Koraput Jagannath Soren said a committee that inquired into the case found that apart from the headmaster, the matron of the hostel is also involved.
“We are concerned about the problems the family is facing. The district administration may give some assistance to her family,” he said.
The DWO said the departmental probe committee found it as a case of “illicit relationship” on the part of the headmaster and not that of sexual assault.
“As there was no sexual assault, we can’t recommend financial assistance. The district collector may decide on that,” he said.
As per Odisha Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017, a rape victim is entitled to get a financial assistance of Rs 3 lakh.
Crime against women is high in Odisha. According to a figure provided by the state’s police in its website, 2,144 rape cases were reported during the year 2016. The number was 2251 in 2015 and 1,978 in 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
October 23, 2017 at 9:40 pm
The headmaster responsible for raping and assaulting the girl must be severely punished. The ‘ purification’ feast is an evil custom and must be discouraged totally