Odisha police launch manhunt for headmaster who allegedly molested tribal school girls | india news | Hindustan Times
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Odisha police launch manhunt for headmaster who allegedly molested tribal school girls

Police said the headmaster allegedly asked the girls to switch off the light and then showed them obscene videos on his mobile phone and touched them inappropriately.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2018 22:35 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
The police registered a case only after their parents complained to a senior government official.
The police registered a case only after their parents complained to a senior government official.(AFP/Getty Images)

Police in Odisha’s Sundargarh district started a manhunt on Sunday for a headmaster after 21 tribal girl students of a high school accused him of sexual harassment.

A case of molestation under the Indian penal code (IPC) as well as under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was registered against Khetrabasi Pradhan, principal of Jemamani High School in Bandhabhuin village of Sundargarh district, 278 km northwest of the capital Bhubaneswar.

“We have started inquiry into the matter and are trying our best to nab the accused,” Rourkela superintendent of police Dr Umashankar Dash said.

The girls alleged that Pradhan who had escorted them for the matriculation examinations last month, molested them after showing them sexually explicit videos at a rented house where he was staying with them near the exam centre at Badgogua High School.

Though the incident occurred on February 23, the traumatised girl students did not report the matter immediately after Pradhan threatened to fail them in the exams. The girls finally told their parents only after returning home on March 8. The matriculation examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Odisha was held between February 22 and March 8.

Police said the headmaster allegedly asked the girls to switch off the light and then showed them obscene videos on his mobile phone and touched them inappropriately.

Though the students had initially tried to lodge a complaint at the police station, the local police allegedly did not cooperate.

Later the tribal girls and their parents met Bonai Sub-Collector Swadha Dev Singh who took up the matter with higher police officials, after which a case was lodged with Bonai police station.

The parents of the one of the victims said they never thought the headmaster would treat their children like this.

“He should be given the maximum punishment,” one parent told the police.