Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly Tuesday witnessed uproar over the reported pregnancy of four tribal girls in a state-run hostel here with opposition Congress and BJP demanding a statement from the government.
They alleged that the inmates of the state-run hostels for tribal girls are not safe and the hostels are being misused.
The issue was raised by Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra during zero hour. He asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to ensure an impartial probe into the incident.
"It is suspected that there is an attempt to suppress the matter as the authorities of the state-run hostel have sent back the girls to their respective homes. Though the initial medical reports had said that four girls had tested positive for pregnancy, three of them later tested negative.
An impartial probe should be initiated," Mishra said.
The Congress leader said had the incident been taken place in Delhi or Mumbai, it would have evoked a nation-wide protests and asked the chief minister to take the incident seriously and punish those involved in it.
He demanded that the probe report be tabled in the House on July 12, when the second phase of the monsoon session of the assembly begins.
Criticising the state government, Mishra pointed out that though an average of seven women are raped every day in Odisha, only nine accused get convicted in a year.
"Is this 'Maa ku Samman' (Respect to women) by Naveen-led BJD government?" Mishra asked.
BJP member Bishnu Charan Sethi also expressed concern over the incident and demanded a statement from the chief minister. "The parents of the victim are threatened in order to suppress the matter," Sethi said.
The Congress members rushed to the well of the House and urged Speaker SN Patro to give a ruling for a statement from the chief minister, who is also the home minister of the state.
As they attempted to climb the Speaker's podium, Patro adjourned the House for 10 mintes.
Later, the speaker in a ruling asked the concerned department to make a statement in the House.
Recently, four girls of a hostel here run by the ST and SC development department of Odisha government were found to be pregnant after a health check up of 101 students under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram programme.
However, further check-up has confirmed that only one of the hostel inmates was actually pregnant.
The police had Monday arrested one person from Bhubaneswar on the charge of rape and impregnating a minor girl of the tribal hostel.