**Bhubaneswar**: “I’ve been mentally harassed for more than a decade by the school committee secretary and the DEO (District Educational Officer). Fed up with the administrative apathy, I attempted self immolation in front of Naveen Niwas. But even after four years, nobody is lending a hand to rescue me.”
These were the words of Prahallad Barik, a group-D employee of Sahadev Bidyapitha, Dhenkanal. On the second day of NHRC’s three-day Open Hearing here in the capital city, Prahallad appeared before the court demanding justice. Though his case was not heard by the Commission, his sad story drew an attention.
Prahallad was appointed as a peon in the school in the year 1993. After a few years of service, the school committee allegedly started harassing him.
“They alleged that the degree, I submitted for the job was fake. After a long legal battle, my job was restored by the court in 2008. But the secretary deprived me of my salary till 2012. Even after that they denied to release my arrears,” rued Prahallad.
“Frustrated enough, I tried to burn myself in front of the CM’s residence. But the apathy didn’t stop here. The authorities didn’t even bear my medical expenses. They have stopped paying my salary since then.” he added.
Prahallad alleged that the school committee secretary is intentionally harassing him as he wants to appoint one of his relatives for the post. Finally he knocked HRC’s door for justice which he believes is his last hope.
Kalpana Barik, victim’s wife also expressed her disgust over the attitude of the administration. She said, “Our family has suffered a lot. None of has the patience to live through this torture anymore. We will all commit suicide if we don’t get justice here.”