Kolkata teacher arrested for ‘sexually harassing’ Class 2 student for 6 months
The allegations came to light when the child refused to go to school. Angry parents gathered in front of the south Kolkata school on Friday demanding action.
A dance teacher of a prominent girl’s school in West Bengal’s capital Kolkata was arrested on Friday for allegedly sexually harassing a Class 2 student for the last six months, police said.
The accused was charged under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act after the girl’s mother lodged a complaint with the police.
The mother came to know that her daughter was being sexually harassed on Thursday when the child refused to go to school. The child revealed that she was being harassed by the teacher after the mother prodded.
Angry parents demanding action against the accused teacher gathered in front of the school in Deshapriya Park in south Kolkata on Friday morning.
They also alleged that there are no closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras inside the campus and questioned the presence of male teachers in a school meant only for girls.
Authorities deployed policemen at the school to tackle the situation. Two police officers, including the officer-in-charge of Tollygunge police station, were injured in a scuffle with the agitating parents.
Education minister Partha Chatterjee said the government will look into the matter if there were lapses on the part of the school.
“There are safety guidelines laid down by the state government. The school authorities should also keep a vigil that such incidents do not take place,” Chatterjee said.
“It’s despicable. Are there CCTV cameras to keep an eye on what’s happening? It’s all the more necessary where girls study,” the minister added.
School authorities did not issue any statement till 2 pm but Sudeshna Ray, a member of West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said they did not deny the allegation and were “sympathetic to the victim and her family”.
“It’s an unfortunate incident. We have heard the version of the school. They also told us that the CCTV cameras were not working due to construction activities. But they would start working from tomorrow,” Ray said.
“We have to now speak to the victim, her parents and the police,” she added.
In a similar incident at Gopalnagar in the North 24 Parganas district, a Bengali language teacher was arrested by the district police for reportedly sexually assaulting a number of girls at a school.
The teacher was booked under POCSO act after a Class 8 student lodged a complaint against him.
Angry parents, who alleged the school authorities did not take action against him despite several complaints, assaulted the teacher and the headmaster before the police could arrive.
Two teachers of another private school in south Kolkata were arrested for sexually assaulting a four-year-old in December last year. Reports said the physical training teachers lured the girl into the toilet by offering her chocolates and then sexually assaulted her.
“This is not the first time teachers have been booked for sexually assaulting students. Many incidents have been reported from across the country in recent years. This is a clear sign of decadence. Our society is losing moral values. This was unthinkable even 10 years ago,” political scientist and former principal of Presidency College Amal Mukhopadhyay said.