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NHRC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance of Student Suicide Due to Alleged Sexual Harassment

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India has taken suo motu cognizance of a tragic incident reported by the media. According to the report, a first-year Diploma student took her own life by jumping from the 4th floor of Chaitanya Engineering College in Kommadi area, Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh, on March 28, 2024. The student's distressing message to her father highlighted the prevalence of sexual harassment against female students in the college, with allegations suggesting that the college management failed to address the issue effectively.

In response to the concerning report, the NHRC has deemed the matter a serious violation of human rights and has initiated action. Notices have been issued to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Government of Andhra Pradesh, calling for a detailed report on the incident within four weeks. The report is expected to shed light on the status of the investigation into the incident.

Expressing grave concern, the NHRC has pointed out the apparent negligence and reckless attitude of the college authorities, which may have contributed to the tragic outcome. The Commission has emphasized the need for a thorough investigation into the incident and the allegations of sexual harassment against other students in the college. Such investigations are crucial to ensure that those responsible are held accountable and to prevent similar violations of the right to life and dignity in the future.

According to media reports on March 30, 2024, the victim had allegedly been subjected to sexual harassment by a faculty member who had also threatened to distribute compromising pictures of her on social media. The NHRC's intervention underscores the urgency of addressing issues related to sexual harassment and ensuring the safety and well-being of students in educational institutions across the country.

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