RAYAGADA: In a significant judgment, the court of Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) sentenced Nargish K Ashthari, who runs a charitable organisation in the district, to one year in jail in connection with the drowning of a six-year-old boy in 2014.
Judge Savitri Naik also ordered Nargish (28) to pay a compensation of ` three lakh to the parents of the deceased. Nargish an Iranian having British citizenship runs a charitable organisation, Prishan Foundation, in the district. She got embroiled in controversy after charges of negligence and irresponsibility were levelled against her by the boy's father Peter Jilakara.
Peter had registered a case in Rayagada police station after his son Asim went missing after drowning in river Nagavali during a picnic organised by the foundation near hanging bridge of Rayagada town.
Peter and his wife work in the organisation as warden in-charge and cook-cum-caretaker. A few ays after the incident Peter learnt from eye-witnesses that Nargish and secretary of the foundation, Raju Gupta, were drunk on the fateful day. The intoxicated duo had taken the children to the river for playing and bathing. When Peter came to know about this he again filed a petition with the Collector, SP and Odisha State Human Rights Commission. He sought justice alleging that Nargish is influencing local police and administration.
Prishan Foundation, an NGO, which is working in Rayagada district came under scanner when Rayagada Collector Guha Punam Tapas Kumar noticed that the organisation is not meeting the norms laid down by Persons with disability (PWD) Act of Government, flouting the rules. The Collector also issued a showcause notice questioning why the organisation should not be closed down.
Nargish, who works towards the uplift of the poor by collecting funds from foreign donors, was granted bail by the same court. Claiming innocence, she said she will move higher court for justice.