The West Bengal education department has given "punishment transfer" to 12 school teachers charged with molesting nearly 25 girl students, all aged between 10 and 12, in the last three-four months.
The accused teachers, all from West Midnapore district, were transferred last week, said an official of the West Midnapore district primary council, which took action on the instructions of the Right to Education Protection Authority of the education department.
The accused teachers, who have denied the charges, received bail after being charged by the police under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
An education department official said the punishment transfers were not the final action. "Courts will give their verdicts." The complaints have come from 10 schools in Midnapore and Kharagpur sub-divisions of the district.
One of the transferred teachers has been accused by seven of his students of inappropriately touching them with a stick and slapping them on their chest. The other transferred teachers are facing almost similar accusations.
Most of the girls allegedly sexually harassed by the teachers are in Class 4 and Class 5.