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Kotkhai rape-murder: Victim’s school calls for counsellors as students grapple with fear

Last week the state education department had issued an advisory to all schools asking them to encourage students to take public transport, avoid taking lift from strangers and move in groups

india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 13:17 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Kotkhai rape-murder,counsellors,scared students
Principal Anil Kumar said besides the children, their mothers will also be counselled to better address the situation. (HT File )

Twenty six days after a Class-10 student was raped and murdered in Kotkhai tehsil of Shimla district, students from her school are still traumatised.

The Government Senior Secondary School, Mahasu, where the victim studied, has now decided to rope in counsellors to help students overcome their fear. The school is located close to Hilaila village from where the girl’s body was found in a forested area on July 4. School authorities informed that two counsellors from Shimla will visit the school and conduct separate sessions for girls and boys.

Principal Anil Kumar said besides the children, their mothers will also be counselled to better address the situation. “They will also be informed about students’ safety,” he said, adding that students and parents will be made aware about drug abuse. Besides this, there are also plans to trains students in self-defense skills.

Poor attendance

Meanwhile, attendance in the school has also declined after the incident. The school was closed for a week for the monsoon break and reopened on Friday. “Of the 94 students, about 54 attended classes on Friday and Saturday,” school principal Anil Kumar said.

He added, “It appears that the children are still confused and fearful. A possible reason could be the fact that elders continue to discuss the gruesome crime.”The victim’s brother has also stopped attending classes. The girl had joined the school on May 16 this year and records show that the siblings regularly attended classes.

“The region is unknown to such crimes. Not just the children, this is frightening for the elders too,” said Priyal Chuhan, a local resident. The victim’s village is located about three kilometers from the school. Schoolchildren in the region usually trek to the school through forest trails.

Last week the state education department had issued an advisory to all schools asking them to encourage students to take public transport, avoid taking lift from strangers and move in groups.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 13:15 IST