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NHRC expresses dissatisfaction over UP Govt's response to its recommendations
The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Principal Secretary, Department of Energy, Government of Uttar Pradesh to cause an enquiry into inaction and delay in the payment of an additional amount of Rs. 2 lakh each to the two minor Dalit girls, Kajal, 9 years and Shikha, 10 years.

These girls were electrocuted in Village Pradhanpur, District Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh on the 11th July, 2011 due to failure on the part of a Junior Engineer and a Lineman of the Electricity Department.

The Commission has also asked the Superintendent of Police, Jaunpur to conduct an enquiry into inaction and delay in not making the concerned Junior Engineer and the Lineman accused in the matter and filing a chargesheet against them in the court.

Both the officers have been given six weeks time to submit the proof of payment along with the action taken report on the inaction and delay in the matter by their respective departments.

According to a NHRC's release Justice D. Murugesan, Member of the Commission expressed dissatisfaction over the response of the concerned State authorities to the show cause notice issued by the Commission that the Junior Engineer had retired and the Lineman was put under suspension. Further, Rs. 1 lakh each had been paid to the next of kin of both the deceased minor girls.

The Commission said that the statutory enquiry had indicted both the delinquent Electricity Department personnel on the 26th July, 2011 but the Junior Engineer was conveniently allowed to retire on the 31st December, 2011, almost five months after the enquiry report, and the Lineman was placed under suspension only on the 6th December, 2014. Even the meagre amount of financial relief of Rs.1 lakh each had been paid to the families of both the electrocuted girls after about two years after the incident.

The Commission observed that the sequence of events speaks volumes of the state of governance and particularly in the State Electricity Department. The amount of compensation of Rs.1 lakh each is meager. In these circumstances, the Commission reiterated that the Government of Uttar Pradesh pay Rs.2 lakh each more as recommended by it in its show cause notice, as an interim relief.

During the course of enquiry, the Commission had found that a 200 meter iron wire was drawn by the villagers of Harijan Basti (East) of Village Pradhanpur to use the electricity illegally. On the 11th July, 2011, the illegally drawn iron wire broke up and fell down in the field.

The two minor girls came in its contact when they went towards the field to answer the call of nature and died on the spot. The Junior Engineer and the Lineman were found having violated provisions of Rule 29 (1) of Indian Electricity Manual, 1956 in non-maintaining the transmission lines properly.

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