Harassment of Woman Home Guard in Odisha: Matter reaches NHRC

TNI Bureau: A DIG-rank official of the Odisha Police, Brijesh Kumar Rai, landed in trouble after a woman home guard has brought serious allegations against the wife of the top police official.

The female home guard, Souridri Sahoo of Angul district, who lost her two legs in a suicide attempt after being tortured by the wife of the DIG-rank official, has alleged that the wife of DIG Ray was asking her to do too much physical work, torturing her and beating her.

Souridri is undergoing treatment at Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack.

Meanwhile, IPS Brijesh Kumar Rai has dismissed all claims of harassment and attributed the victim’s drastic action to mental distress owing to personal problems in life.

In a letter to Home Guard DG Sudhanshu Sarangi, Souridri accused Rai’s wife of beating her for negligence in household works and getting repeated threats to dismiss her from the job, which prompted her to commit suicide by jumping in front of a moving train.

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Following the issue, a petition filed by rights activist Jayanta Kumar Das with National Human Rights Commission seeking legal action against DIG and his wife.

Petition with National Human Rights Commission sought:

01. Direct the Addl. Chief Secretary of the Home Department of Odisha to initiate legal action against DIG of Police Brijesh Kumar Rai and his wife and initiate departmental proceedings against the Home Guard DG for suppressing facts.

02. Ensure that the victims receive adequate compensation of Rs. 30, 00,000.

03. Instruct the concerned authorities to recover the awarded compensation amount from the salary of the erring DIG Brijesh Kumar Rai.

The situation becomes even more alarming when it is revealed that thousands of Home Guards are engaged in domestic work at the residences of senior police officials across Odisha. This raises serious concerns about the exploitation and violation of their human rights, said the petitioner.

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