NHRC notice to Centre, Delhi government over starvation deaths

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New Delhi : Taking cognizance of the deaths of three minor girls due to starvation in Delhi, the NHRC on Thursday issued notices to the Centre and Delhi government seeking a report on the matter within two to four weeks.

"The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi and Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India calling for reports in the matter within two-four weeks.

"The authorities are requested further to submit the status report of Antyodaya Yojana (a Government of India sponsored scheme to provide highly subsidised food to millions of the poorest families)," the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said in a statement.

"If media reports are believed to be true then the incident raises a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim children," it said.

Citing the Right to Food and National Food Security Act, the Commission said that it is evident that despite legal provisions and machinery in place, the children had to starve to death.

"The deceased children have been denied their basic human rights. The state authorities, therefore, are lacking in discharging its duty by not fulfilling its obligation without providing food to all," the NHRC said.

Three sisters -- aged two, four and eight -- were discovered unconscious in their one-room house in East Delhi's Mandawali area on Tuesday. Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) Hospital said the children were brought dead.

An autopsy at the LBS on Wednesday suggested that starvation "appears" to be the cause of their demise.

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the deaths.