The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over reports that the administration of a state-run school in Mahoba district called an occultist to treat 15 girl students who had fallen ill after consuming mid-day meal, officials said.
According to Press Trust of India, the commission has 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.
The NHRC has taken cognisance of the media reports that the administration of the school called an occultist to treat 15 girl students who fell ill after consuming mid-day meal. Reportedly, they were taken to hospital after police intervention, it said in a statement on Friday.
Accordingly, the Commission has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary seeking a detailed report within four weeks. 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, it said.
Issuing the notice, the NHRC has also observed that, apparently, a sub-standard mid-day meal was served to the students leading to the illness, which is indicative of the apathy of the authorities concerned. Besides, the school teachers are expected to educate students and not to make them believe in such superstitious malpractices, the statement said.
According to the media reports, carried on December 21, a video reportedly showing the girls being subjected to sorcery by an occultist 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 9-13 years, it said.
Reportedly, the villagers had blamed ghosts in the school for the illness of their children, the statement said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)