Patiala: Woman principal suspended after 17-yr-old boy alleges sexual harassment
The matter came to light when the Class-12 boy alleged that the principal harassed him physically and pressured him to have physical relations with her.Updated: Aug 03, 2017, 23:03 IST
The Punjab education department has suspended a woman principal of a government senior secondary school in Patiala, following allegations of sexual harassment levelled against her by a 17-year-old boy, studying in the same school.
Krishan Kumar, secretary education, has ordered suspension of Adarsh Bhalla, 52, principal of the government senior secondary school, Mardanpur.
The action has been taken against Bhalla, who is married, on the basis of an inquiry conducted by Nishi Jalota, circle officer, education department.
Bhalla has been directed to report at the board headquarters.
The matter came to light when the Class-12 boy alleged that Bhalla harassed him physically and pressured him to have physical relations with her.
The boy alleged that the principal used to take him to her residence in Patiala and also made him sit along her side in her office during school hours.
The boy raised the issue after Bhalla allegedly struck off his name after he spurned her advances. His parents, along with other villagers, protested at the school premises and accused the principal of taking undue advantage of their ward.
Following these allegations, Krishan Kumar, secretary school education, directed circle education officer Nishi Jalota to inquire into the matter.
Jalota said the statements of the victim, his parents, school staff, students and former students of the school were recorded.
“Prime facie, the school principal was found guilty and strict action was recommended against her in the report submitted to the secretary, education department,” she added.
Notably, this is not for the first time that such allegations were levelled against Bhalla. A similar case was reported last year when another Class-12 boy of the school accused her of sexual harassment. The matter was then reported to the then education minister Daljeet Singh Cheema, but no action followed allegedly due to political pressure.
A video showing Bhalla dancing with a boy on Hindi romantic songs during a farewell party had also gone viral on the social media recently.
Meanwhile, Bhalla could not be contacted despite repeated attempts by HT.