The Gurgaon police arrested a 72-year-old principal of a private school on February 6 for allegedly molesting an eight-year-old student.
The accused has been identified as Ram Gopal Sharma, a former junior warrant officer of the Indian Air Force and principal of a private school in Ashok Vihar Phase 3.
According to the police, the incident came to light when the girl returned home after school on February 5 and narrated the incident to her father, an autorickshaw driver.
The girl said Sharma called her to his office when she was on her way to her classroom after lunch break. When she entered his office, he allegedly touched her inappropriately and used obscene words, the girl told the police.
The parents approached the Palam Vihar police station the next day. The police recorded the girl’s statement in the presence of her parents. Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Dharna Yadav, who is the nodal officer for crime against women and children, and a legal advisor were also called to the police station.
“We have filed a complaint in the case and arrest the accused. The complaint was registered under the supervision of the nodal officer and a legal advisor. The principal has been booked under Section 10 of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. The girl has been sent for counselling and we have requested the education department to investigate the background of the school,” inspector Sandeep Kumar, station house officer (SHO) of the Palam Vihar police station, said.
The incident has evoked sharp reaction from academicians and child activists in the city. They have expressed concern about the rising number of cases of sexual harassment against children. They have suggested parents and teachers to make children aware about sex education.
“Students should be given sex education and made comfortable about discussing such sensitive issues. Parents should try not to mute them when they come with such issues,” a principal of a city-based school said.
An expert also pointed that all schools should install CCTV cameras and deploy security guards, who have been verified by the police, to ensure that students are safe on school premises.