On 7 January 2017, Dika Kumari, a Class X student of Hajipur’s Rajkiya Ambedkar Avaasiya Balika Ucha Vidyalalya was brutally raped and murdered. A fact finding team comprising of CPI(ML), AIPWA and AISA leaders visited the school and the girl’s family. On meeting the mother of the girl, the mother reported that on 7 January, on receiving a call from her daughter, she went to meet her daughter. Her daughter told her that her “sir (a male teacher) asks her to do wrong things and says that she will get more marks she does it.” On hearing of this sexual harassment, the mother got ready to take her daughter home, but the teachers refused to let the mother take her daughter away. They snatched her bag and threw the mother out of the gate. The mother had to return home dejected. In the evening she talked to her daughter on the phone and the next morning she came to know through the Fakuli police station that her daughter was no longer alive. When the mother reached the school, she discovered that the girl’s body had marks of brutal injuries to her private parts. Her body had been thrown in a nearby drain. It appeared that before she had been brutally murdered after being raped or possibly gangraped.
When the fact finding team reached the school, they found out that the school principal had been suspended and that the acting principal was in a meeting with the DM. The team was able to meet some male teachers and cook. The school also has some female teachers, but neither any of these teachers stays on the campus nor is there any warden. Though there are three guards of whom one is a woman, the woman guard is currently working at the DM’s place. The school is in a secluded area and in the girls’ hostel, there are no medical or other provisions.
A hostel mate of Dika Kumari said that Dika, after bidding them goodnight had said she was going to get a drink of water. The next morning her body was found. The fact that Dika Kumari had complained to her mother of sexual harassment by a teacher calls for a serious enquiry into sexual harassment and abuse of power by authorities in the school as well as investigation of the murder of Dika.
The fact finding team demanded a high level inquiry into this gruesome rape and murder and strong punishment for the guilty. The increasing assaults on the girls coming from weaker sections exposes the true nature of the so called- ‘social justice’ government. Even as Nitish Kumar claims that the government is empowering the girls, such state of schools exposes the farce of it. The team demanded compensation and job for the family members of the girl, security provisions in schools and campuses and measures to ensure that Ambedkar schools and hostels are provided with the same facilities as the Navodaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya schools.
On 11 January, in Patna and several other parts of the state, candle light marches were held. On 12 January, AISA-RYA organised protest marches throughout the state. In Muzzafarpur, the protestors blocked the district administration office and registered a strong protest. The mother of the girl, people from her village and several girls from Ambedkar Vidyalaya participated in the protest. Protest was also held in Hajipur.