NHRC moved over deaths of Bhadrak schoolkids in mishap

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Bhubaneswar:  A petition has been filed in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the deaths of five schoolchildren in an accident at Rahanja area of Bhadrak district on July 19.

Social activist Mohammad Imran Ali has filed the petition and blamed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the school authorities for the mishap.

“Although the school is situated along the national highway, the school authorities neither had put up any signboard nor created any awareness among children over road safety. The district administration and the NHAI are equally responsible for the mishap. Had the administration taken these small measures, the mishap would have been avoided,” the petitioner alleged.

In view of the sensitivity of the case, a proper investigation should be conducted into the matter and action should be taken against those responsible, the petitioner said.

The petitioner further alleged that other students are now not coming to school due to fear following the mishap. The children and their guardians fear the reoccurrence of such mishap. There is the need for counselling of the schoolchildren, the petitioner added.

Notably, a speeding truck had run over a group of students while they were returning home from school, killing five of them and injuring six others.

The driver of the truck, identified as Deblam Venkatadri, was arrested from Kabiti police limits of Srikakulam District in Andhra Pradesh Pradesh on July 22.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased and free treatment for the injured.

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