Days after a 16-year-old girl was harassed by her teacher who sent her obscene text messages, a special investigation team of the crime branch raided the school in Ghatkopar on Thursday.
The officials seized computers and documents that were used by the accused and other people to commit the offence and tamper with the victim’s answer sheets in order to harass her.
The teacher was identified as Parag Shah, an employee of the school since the past seven years. He had been targeting the victim, the daughter of a lawyer, since 2015. Investigations revealed that Shah got himself appointed the victim’s class teacher so he could keep close tabs on her.
“He would harass her by expressing his love for her and asking her out on dates. During the prelims of her secondary school certificate (SSC) examination, he threatened to punish her for copying if she continued to give him the cold shoulder. She did not appear for three of her papers owing to the threat,” said a police officer.
She did not tell her parents of the harassment as it was a crucial academic year. Shah had also threatened to target the victim’s younger sister, a 12-year-old studying in the same school.
The school authorities tampered with the final examination papers before evaluating them, which led to the victim scoring fewer marks. The tampering came to light when the answer sheets were re-evaluated, said officials.
Police said the incident was brought to the notice of the victim’s mother by one of her friends, after she bunked her prelims. When her mother confronted the school with the set of text messages and details of Shah’s harassment, they tried to cover up, stating it was not that serious.
“The parents sought Shah’s termination and a police complaint by the school. The school only terminated Shah’s employment after a lot of pressure. The parents then decided to lodge a complaint themselves,” added the officer.
The victim’s mother approached the Mumbai police commissioner with the evidence. Following this, a case was registered and Shah was arrested. The police is investigating the school for its negligence and inability to curb the incident.