Chandigarh, November 18
A “paedophile” who subjected “vulnerable” girl students to sexual assault and “indecent” questioning, the accused principal of a government girls’ school in Jind would visit classrooms during the absence of teachers and touch girls inappropriately. The staff, teaching and non-teaching, chose to either look the other way and stay mum or claimed complete ignorance about the goings-on at the school.
Used to identify vulnerable girls
- The accused principal tried to identify “vulnerable” girls — those from economically weaker backgrounds, girls who were caught with mobile phones and those who skipped school
- They were subjected to indecent questioning about boyfriends and sex, while the principal used lewd gestures and touched them inappropriately
- During a 3-day trip of Class XI students to Amritsar, he misbehaved & used indecent gestures
While the parents of the students who met the team of the Education Department pressed for a change of the entire staff at the school in the students’ interests, sources said the role of another teacher, recently transferred out, was also under the scanner.
These are among the many findings of a team of the Haryana School Education Department which visited the Jind school for a thorough probe into the allegations earlier this week. The team met students, staff and parents during the day-long visit and recorded their statements. A report in this regard has now been submitted to the authorities.
The sources pointed out that the report mentioned that the allegations against the accused principal, booked under Section 10 of the POCSO Act and Sections 341, 342, 354A of the IPC, “seem to be true” since the statements of students, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff match up.
The five-page report prepared by the School Education Department, the sources said, stated that the principal sexually harassed the “vulnerable” girl students who were either economically weak or used mobile phones in their classes.
He would identify these girls (students of Class VIII to Class XII) on the basis of cameras installed on the school premises, call them to his room and sexually assault them by way of touching them inappropriately, pull them towards himself, slide his hand around their waist or even ask some of them to kiss him. During a visit to the school by The Tribune, teachers had revealed that he would summon small groups of girls for signing their school transportation documents. The sources said this particular issue was also raised at the meeting by the students with the team from the School Education Department and finds mention in the report. The team, it is learnt, has said that though the principal summoned the students (in the age group of 13 to 16 years) to his room for their signatures, there was no provision under which this was required. The Chhatra Parivahan Scheme under which the principal would call the students to his room was entrusted to the class teachers and the School Management Committee and he had no role in it.
The door of the principal’s room with a black glass was “suspicious” in a girls’ school and points fingers at the possibility of lack of mandatory inspections by department officials. The sexual harassment committee, too, was formed only in May 2023. The SMC did not bother to push for various checks to be in place.
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