Kaithal, December 7
The principal of a government senior secondary school in Haryana’s Kaithal district was arrested on Thursday for allegedly molesting four Class XII girl students in the second such incident in the state in just over a month.
The principal, identified as Ravi Kumar (52), was booked on Wednesday under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Women panel seeks info from police
- Four girl students have accused the principal of sexually harassing them
- Teachers have also accused the principal of misbehaving with them
- Haryana Women Commission chief enquired about the incident from the police
- A committee of the Haryana Vidyalaya Adhyapak Sangh of Kaithal visited school
“Four girls have accused the principal of sexual harassment in their statements before the magistrate. We have arrested the principal and presented him in a court that sent him to judicial custody,” Superintendent of Police Upasana said.
“An SIT has been constituted to probe the case. Statements of other students and teachers will be recorded,” said Upasana. The Education Department suspended Ravi Kumar and launched an inquiry based on a report submitted by District Education Officer (DEO) Ravinder Chaudhary on Thursday, an official said. “I have sent a report to the headquarters for further action. Top authorities have been informed about the arrest of the principal,” said Chaudhary. He, however, denied receiving any complaints from teachers.
On November 28, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar terminated the principal of a government girls’ school in Jind district over allegations of sexual misconduct against students.
When The Tribune team reached the Kaithal school on Thursday, even teachers accused the principal of misbehaving with them. Teachers and students alleged he used to call girl students in his office and touch them inappropriately. A teacher, on condition of anonymity, said the fresh incident occurred on December 2. On that day, the principal went to Class XII, but some students could not stand up as they did not notice him entering the classroom, after which the principal allegedly misbehaved with the girl students and used abusive language.
The girl students then narrated the incident to a teacher, who in turn informed the Education Department. After this incident came to light, the teacher said, the principal went on leave for 10 days. “We have sent a complaint to the DEO regarding the rude behavior of the principal on December 4,” said a teacher on condition of anonymity.
A girl student said in the FIR, a copy of which is with The Tribune, that the principal used to harass girls sexually. He used abusive language even while talking with girl students. “On December 2, he harassed two girl students and one boy in the classroom and used abusive language. Renu Bhatia, chairperson of Haryana Women Commission, spoke to Superintendent of Police Upasana and inquired about the incident, said sources.
An eight-member committee of Haryana Vidyalaya Adhyapak Sangh of Kaithal district also visited the school. “We came here to check the facts. We demand the government to take strict action against him and justice should be delivered to the girl students,” said Vijender Mor, district president of Sangh.
In the Jind school case, the accused principal has been in judicial custody since November 4. Multiple preliminary inquiries conducted by the district administration, police and Education Department had found the accused Jind school principal guilty of sexual harassment of several girls. Initially, as many as 142 girls came forward to report incidents of physical and mental harassment against the principal. Later, 60 girls gave statements to the State Commission for Women, of which, six girls had recorded their statements under Section 164 of the CrPC before the magistrate.
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