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Noida girl suicide: Kathak maestro demands fair probe

Maharaj claimed that the girl was a phenomenal dancer who had a bright future. The girl’s father, a Kathak dancer himself, had trained under Birju Maharaj for years

noida Updated: Mar 23, 2018 22:53 IST
Vaibhav jha
Vaibhav jha
Hindsutan Times
Pandit Birju Maharaj said if a regular procedure of investigation is not sufficient, then a probe must be done by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Pandit Birju Maharaj said if a regular procedure of investigation is not sufficient, then a probe must be done by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj on Friday came out in support of the family of the 15-year-old girl who committed suicide at her Noida residence and demanded a fair probe into the allegations of sexual harassment made by the family against teachers of her school.

“I am personally not aware of the happenings at the school and what the child faced, but as parents have made allegations, a fair probe must be carried out. If the regular procedure of investigation is not sufficient, then a probe must be done by the Central Bureau of Investigation,” Maharaj said.

Maharaj claimed that the girl was a phenomenal dancer who had a bright future. The girl’s father, a Kathak dancer himself, had trained under Birju Maharaj for years.

“When I heard the news, my reaction was of complete disbelief as I have seen the girl perform. I wanted to train her but, unfortunately, that moment never arrived. She was so talented in Kathak that had she even completely abandoned studies, she would still have made a name nationwide,” Maharaj said.

The girl’s family has insisted that the case should be handed over to the CBI and the accused teachers be arrested. On Thursday, the family and other supporters blocked the Noida-Delhi link road for four hours demanding the arrest of the accused.

“The police say that they don’t have evidence to support our allegations but why have they not arrested the teachers yet and interrogated them? My daughter is not going to come back and provide them evidence,” the father said.

The girl, a class 9 student of a private school in east Delhi, committed suicide at her Noida residence on Tuesday evening when her parents were out. The girl’s parents insist that their daughter was under extreme academic stress and she had confessed as much to them recently. The girl, whose annual exam result was declared on March 16, had failed in two subjects — social studies and science. No suicide note was found in the house.

However, police recovered a register in which she had scribbled several lines on the last pages, venting her anxiety and despair.

Taking cognizance of the complaint filed by parents, police booked one male teacher of her school for abetment to suicide and sexual harassment under Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act. A woman teacher and principal of the school were booked for abetment to suicide.

Police have not made any arrest citing lack of evidence.

“We are yet to arrest the teachers as the investigation is ongoing and we are collecting evidence. Due procedure will be followed,” AK Singh, superintendent of police (city), Noida, said.

Police have also written to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and asked it to constitute a committee which will re-evaluate the girl’s answer papers. On Friday afternoon, a few officials of the CBSE also visited the girl’s house and interacted with the family. The officials did not speak to the media.

The school principal has denied all allegations levelled against him and the two teachers.