Kaithal govt school principal suspended for sexually harassing girl students
This is the second such incident in Haryana in a month after the arrest and suspension of the principal of a government girls school in Jind district, Kartar Singh, for allegedly sexually harassing girl students.
A day after Ravi Kumar, the principal of a government school in Kaithal district, was arrested for allegedly sexually harassing four girl students, the Haryana education department announced his suspension.
A department spokesperson said on Friday that the Kaithal district education officer (DEO), Ravinder Kumar, acted against the principal of the school in Guhla block on the basis of a preliminary inquiry report.
According to the order, Ravi Kumar has been placed under suspension under the Haryana Civil Services (punishment and appeal) rules.
This is the second such incident in the state in a month after the arrest and suspension of the principal of a government girls school in Jind district, Kartar Singh, for allegedly sexually harassing girl students. An inquiry committee headed by Uchana subdivisional magistrate Gulzar Malik found Kartar Singh prima facie guilty of sexual harassment after interacting with 390 students and 142 girls.
Officials said that the Guhla incident came to light earlier this week when a few girl students and villagers came forward, leveling allegations against the principal. The education department formed a five-member committee under the block education officer.
The committee visited the school on Wednesday but ended up facing protests of students and villagers, alleging inaction. The villagers locked the school gate after the staff was asked to leave.
The same day, the local sarpanch and a few villagers approached the Haryana State Commission for Women, seeking immediate action. Renu Bhatia, the commission chairperson, said that they alleged that their complaint was not being registered by the police, following which she contacted Kaithal superintendent of police Upasna.
“I asked the SP to take up the case personally and meet the girls. After the meeting, she told me that the statements will be recorded before a magistrate on Thursday under Section 164 of the CrPC. I asked her to get it done the same day in front of a special magistrate within two hours, register an FIR and arrest the principal within 24 hours. The statements were recorded late in the evening and the accused was arrested within three-four hours,” Bhatia said.
Principal Ravi Kumar was booked under Sections 354 and 354-A of the IPC and Section 10 of the POCSO Act.
A special investigation team (SIT) under the Guhla DSP is investigating the matter, while the education department is conducting a parallel probe.