Odisha college teacher held for exploiting minors, police suspect accused is a serial offender
Police arrested the teacher after taking suo motu cognizance of an audio-tape of a purported conversation between his wife and a minor girl about his sexual exploitations that went viralUpdated: Dec 14, 2017 18:30 IST
A teacher of a government college in Odisha was arrested on Wednesday evening after an audio-tape of a purported conversation between his wife and a minor girl about his sexual exploitations was circulated on social media.
The audiotape which was leaked a few days ago detailed how the physical education teacher of an autonomous college in Nayagarh district was forcing minor girl students into physical relations.
Though the girl in the audiotape did not lodge a complaint, police took suo motu cognizance and arrested Suryamani Pradhan alias Kalia.
Nayagarh superintendent of police Ashis Singh told HT that Pradhan, 42, has been charged with rape under IPC and Pocso Act as the victims were minor.
In the 18-minute-long audiotape, a girl is heard telling the teacher’s wife that ‘Kalia sir’ sexually assaulted her friend Pooja in a toilet of the hostel and later threatened her of deducting marks in practical examination if the matter is revealed.
“Sir also exploited several others in his bedroom,” the girl told the teacher’s wife.
During the conversation between the two, the teacher’s wife also admitted there were multiple instances of her husband’s sexual transgressions.
The SP said the incident happened in 2015 when Pradhan was running a private hostel near the college where the alleged victims were staying
“There were at least 40 girls in the hostel. We have sufficient evidence to prove that the accused sexually exploited several girls in the hostel. He is a serial offender,” the SP said. “We are collecting more evidence and have asked girls to come forward with any complaints against him.”
The girl whose voice in the audiotape led the police to initiate the investigation was a Plus-Two student in the college till last year.
She and her friend have now shifted to a nearby college and mustered courage to speak to the teacher’s wife.
College principal Dasarathi Biswal said he has suspended the teacher. “As I never received any complaint against him, I could not take any action earlier. We have now formed a sexual harassment cell in the college where girls can lodge complaint,” the principal said.
Last month, police had arrested an Odia lecturer of a college in Malkangiri district over sexual exploitation of a minor student.
Early this week, chief minister Naveen Patnaik told the state assembly that 5,935 rape cases have been reported in Odisha in the last three years.
First Published: Dec 14, 2017 18:29 IST