Hisar, November 28
Nearly a month after the principal of a Jind government senior secondary school, arrested on charges of sexual harassment of several girl students, was suspended, his services were terminated by the Haryana Government today.
An official spokesperson said the government acted under Article 311 (b) of the Constitution. Acting on the investigation report of the Education Department, CM Manohar Lal Khattar issued the termination orders of the accused, Kartar Singh, who was arrested on November 4 and is currently in judicial custody at the Jind jail. The spokesperson stated the report highlighted statements of students alleging misconduct by the principal. After his suspension, a female principal along with 16 new staff members had been appointed, he said. After preliminary inquiries found the principal “guilty” of sexual harassment, Hisar range ADGP Shrikant Jadhav marked a probe to a six-member SIT headed by Sirsa ASP Deepti Garg on November 16. The SIT had been directed to conclude the probe at the earliest.
Jind SP Sumit Kumar said six victims had got their statements recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC. Probing mysterious suicide by three schoolgirls in the recent months, the police sources said the SIT had taken the statement of a boy who was a friend of one of the victims.
“The police are trying to retrieve Instagram messages of the principal to verify claims. Further action will be taken based on the evidence,” the official said, adding so far there was no evidence/statement to corroborate “rape” of a girl. The allegation was levelled by an activist, Sikkim Nain.
The sources said 142 girls had complained to the three-member district-level inquiry panel of facing harassment themselves or seeing others being molested by the accused in the school over a period. Later, 60 girls gave statements against the principal and finally six deposed before the magistrate. The victims claimed the principal had “touched them on shoulder, neck and waist” and behaved in an obscene manner, asking them whether they had “experienced kiss or sex” or whether they would like to have “physical relations” with him.
The accused had put up a tinted glass at his room’s entrance and affixed the CCTV at such an angle that it did not cover his seating area.
The matter reached the National Commission for Women when some students wrote a letter on August 31. Acting on it, the Haryana SCW and the district administration started a probe at the end of October. The accused, however, tried to “influence” the victims not to give statement to the probe teams about taking a trip to Attari, Amritsar, on October 25-27 without getting the permission from the higher authorities.
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