The state unit of Congress today held Odisha government responsible for the setting ablaze of a lady teacher, saying the victim's repeated complaints of molestation by a sub-inspector of schools were ignored by police and administration officials.
The party demanded slapping of criminal charges on officials and police for failing to prevent the bid despite repeated complaints by the woman, who is battling for survival at a hospital in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
The lady teacher at Tikri in Rayagada district had complained to the police, district magistrate, state women's commission and the education minister since July about sexual harassment by a sub-inspector of schools, state Congress media cell chief Narsingh Mishra told reporters. "There is information that the woman had even drawn the attention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to her plight ... but neither the police nor the administration took any step to protect her," he claimed.
Besides facing sexual harassment by the SI of schools, Netrananda Dandasena, the lady teacher was subjected to atrocities by higher ups in school as well as the wife and family members of the accused, Mishra alleged.
Even the police misbehaved with her as senior ruling BJD leaders including ministers were protecting the accused, the Congress stalwart claimed, adding "Nothing can be more unfortunate than this. Police didn't act as ruling party leaders were protecting the accused."
Accusing the Chief Minister of failing to ensure safety and security of the lady teacher, Mishra said immediate steps should be taken to book the police officers concerned, education department and district administration for not taking proper action to protect her.
An unknown miscreant on Sunday night set the lady teacher on fire after pouring kerosene on her. She was rushed to a private hospital in Andhra Pradesh where her condition remains critical, police said, adding Dandasena, against whom she had made molestation allegation, is the prime suspect for the murder bid.