Uttarakhand school where minor girl was ‘assaulted’ may lose affiliation
Over a week after the alleged sexual assault of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl by the driver and conductor duo of her school bus came to light in Nainital, the chief education officer has warned of strict action against the management.
“We are looking into whether or not to cancel the school’s affiliation. If it’s done, then the parents of the students will have to be informed first as it is a complicated process and comes into effect from the next session,” Chief Education Officer (Nainital) KK Gupta said, who has issued notices to the school authorities.
The school management had reportedly failed to get a background check on the duo conducted by the police, a mandatory procedure, and also did not have a CCTV camera installed on the bus, a suggestion made by the Supreme Court. Both the accused, driver Pradeep Joshi and conductor Ratan Singh, who had allegedly assaulted the child over several days, were arrested on September 21. The education department and the district administration have begun conducting meetings with the management of all private and government schools in Nainital to apprise them of the various dos and don’ts on school premises. The managements have been asked to ensure that the drivers wear designated uniforms and CCTV cameras are installed on school buses and vans. City Magistrate of Haldwani, Pankaj Upadhyay, said the school staff are being told about the 24-point safety guidelines issued by the Supreme Court to avoid incidents of sexual harassment on school premises.
“We are holding meetings at the block level. The schools must necessarily keep women staff on the buses that have minor girls as passengers,” Upadhyay said. He said the schools would be required to submit an affidavit after a week stating that they have complied with the directions.