Inquiry panel nails principal, says swift action was needed

  • Nikhil Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 17, 2015 10:50 IST

The two-member committee constituted by the UT education department to probe the alleged molestation of a five-year-old girl of Stepping Stones School, Sector 38, by a bus conductor has nailed the principal for negligence. The committee said the principal failed to act promptly after being approached by the girl’s parents.

The committee that comprises deputy district education officer Vinay Sood and principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 10, Harbir Singh Anand in its report submitted to the director of public instructions (schools) on Saturday has also not given a clean chit to the conductor. The report said though there was no witness to the incident, the possibility of the crime couldn’t be ruled out.

The committee said the same bus used to pick up junior wing students from the Sector 38 branch of the school and then senior students from the Sector 37 branch. Hence, there is a possibility of the incident taking place during that gap, the report stated.

The committee, which also questioned other students, said the conductor was friendly with them and used to sit beside them.
Coming down heavily on school principal Sanjiv Kumar for negligence, the committee said he should have taken action immediately after receiving the complaint instead of demanding a written complaint and a medical report from the parents.
“The principal should have fired the conductor immediately after the incident was brought to his notice by the parents. He should have been more sensitive and should have shown care for the child rather than waiting for a written complaint,” said an education department official.

The committee has also blamed the transporter for the delay in sacking the conductor. The transporter claimed that since he could not find a replacement for the accused, he had to send him to pick up the students on Monday as well despite received the complaint on Friday. The report also says the girl was not the last to be dropped home as claimed by the parents earlier. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) regional officer RJ Khanderao said the board would seek explanation from the school.

Meanwhile, the girl’s parents want the school to return `20,000 fee and have sought the administration’s help to get their daughter admitted to some other school.

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