NHRC seeks reports on Odisha girl's death

Bhubaneswar, Nov 10 : The National Human Rights Commission has asked Odisha and Puducherry authorities to submit reports within four weeks on the death in Puducherry of a teenaged girl labourer from Odisha, a petitioner said Sunday.

The commission directed the chief secretary of Odisha and director general of police of Puducherry to submit their action-taken reports on the basis of a petition filed before it by Akhand, an Odisha-based rights activist.

Akhand says 17-year-old Laxmi Behera, a native of Kamala Sagar Patana village in Puri district, was a victim of human trafficking.

She was taken from her village by a middleman to Puducherry as a labourer, just 18 days before her death, the activist told IANS.

He said the girl was forced to work in a coconut oil factory allegedly for more than 12 hours a day. She fell ill due to inadequate food, work pressure and unhygienic living conditions.

She died in a government hospital at Puducherry Sep 27 after she was admitted there for treatment.

The activist said even the girl's body was not sent to her family in Odisha. Police in both Odisha and Puducherry did not take any action against the person and factory owner allegedly responsible for her condition.

He said many other workers from the village of the girl and nearby areas have also gone to various parts of the country for work and are allegedly being exploited.

In his petition, Akhand prayed before the commission for action against the owner of the company who engaged Laxmi, and the middleman. He also sought a compensation of Rs.8 lakh for the victim's family.

--IANS (Posted on 10-11-2013)

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