Kerala teacher who allegedly sexually abused students over 2 decades held

Police said over 75 students raised assault charges against the retired school teacher but majority of them were not ready to file complaints.
The Kerala police arrested the retired school teacher from his hideout in Wayanad on Friday. (File Photo)
The Kerala police arrested the retired school teacher from his hideout in Wayanad on Friday. (File Photo)
Published on May 14, 2022 02:13 PM IST
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An alleged habitual offender who posted a casual message on social media on the last day of his 3-decade-long teaching career glorifying his profession and his career was greeted with a barrage of “me too” allegations which finally led to his arrest in Malappuram district in Kerala on Friday.

Retired on March 31, K V Sasi Kumar, a teacher at a girls higher secondary aided school and prominent Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI(M), leader in the district, made a post on social media last month glorifying his career but more than bouquets brickbats were awaiting him. Initially a former student narrated her bitter experience in his hands years ago and there was a barrage of posts against him.

Soon after shocking allegations cropped up, the party expelled Kumar, who was three-time municipal councilor and teachers’ union leader, but he tried to save his skin saying “he was targeted due to internal rift in the party” but there were no takers for his version. He was arrested from his hideout in Wayanad on Friday.

Some of the students said though they complained to the head master and school management several times he used his political connection to sabotage them. Some of them even said he used to touch them inappropriately and they realised his “advances” only later in their life. Police said over 75 students raised assault charges against him but majority of them were not ready to file complaints saying they can’t run after litigations. And some of them are already married and leading a family life.

Interestingly some of the cases were more than a decade old and police have sought a legal opinion whether provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act can be applied against him. There are reports that over 500 children may have gone through the ordeal but most of them are not ready to open up.

Embarrassed state education minister V Sivan Kutty has asked the general education director K Jeevan Babu to inquire how complaints against him were overlooked and pinpoint those who shielded him all these years. The CPI(M) has also started an internal inquiry into those who helped him. “It is a serious issue and we never expected this from a teacher. We will expose those who helped him also,” said the minister.

The alumni association of the school meanwhile decided to form a common platform to take up the case against the teacher and ensure confidentiality of victims. “He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is a shame on the state how he survived all these days with the muscle power of the party. He was shielded by many,” said an office-bearer of the alumni association.

Two office-bearers of the alumni association, Beena Pillai and Mini Sakeer, had held a press conference on May 11 at Malappuram and sought the government to constitute a special investigation team to inquire charges against the teacher. “We need a thorough probe into how this horrendous crime was covered all these years. We have information that two children even tried to die by suicide and some of them were forced to discontinue their education,” said Pillai.

Police said only a single case has been registered against him at the Malappuram women police station. Malappuram SP Sujith Das said a special team has been formed and it approached former students to record their statements. If the school officials and management were aware of his alleged crime they will also be booked, he said.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022