Protesters demand action against private school in Beas after Class 2 student raped by Class 10 boy
Protesters held a demonstration against the authorities of a private school in Beas, 40 km from Amritsar, on Monday to protest the rape of a Class 2 girl by a student of Class 10 on Friday.
Demanding a criminal case against the authorities, the protesters sat on dharna outside the school on National Highway-1 that connects Amritsar with Delhi, leading to a traffic jam. Police diverted traffic through link roads in the area.
Beas town also observed a shutdown to express solidarity with the protesters against the school authorities for their failure to prevent the crime.
“The 8-year-old girl complained of pain in the stomach and private parts to her mother. She told her mother about the Class 10 student, who is also a minor. The mother lodged a complaint at the Beas police station and a case was registered under Section 376 (punishment of rape) of the IPC and Section 8 of the POCSO Act,” a police official said.
The accused has been arrested. He was produced in a juvenile court in Amritsar.
“The school authorities forced the victim’s parents not to lodge the police complaint. The victim’s family is poor and left the place for an undisclosed location,” a woman protester, whose child is studying at the school, said.
Expressing concern about the safety of children, another protester demanded the arrest of the principal for negligence.
ACCUSED’S SISTER ENDED
LIFE AT SCHOOL IN 2012
The 12-year-old sister of the accused was a student of Class 5 when she committed suicide by jumping off the fourth floor of the school building on November 9, 2012. Though police initiated action under Section 174 of the CrPc, her father blamed the school authorities.
According to a teacher, the girl had suddenly left the classroom during the fifth period, headed for the top floor and before other children could stop her, jumped off the building. She was rushed to hospital where she was declared brought dead.
Police said that a suicide note was recovered from her bag and it said that her mother used to taunt her and tell her “mar ja (die)” and thus, she was committing suicide. Her father, however, refuted this and even denied the girl had written the note.
According to Preet Paul Singh Virk, the then senior superintendent of police, Amritsar Rural, action will be taken in the case once investigation is completed.
Harpreet Kaur, the investigation officer in Friday’s rape case, confirmed that girl who committed suicide in 2012 was the sister of the accused. “We were busy in getting the medical examination of the victim conducted today. We are yet to focus on the investigation of the case. We have not noticed any connection between Friday’s incident and the 2012 case,” she said.
Meanwhile, several social organisations joined the protest by parents of other children studying at the school, which is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education.
Deputy Commissioner Shivdular Singh Dhillon constituted a three-member committee, comprising the Baba Bakala SDM, district education officer (secondary) and district child welfare officer, to probe the role of the school. But the parents and protesters demanded the probe be conducted by Punjab police IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh.