Muzzafarnagar school molestation case: As many as 17 girls studying in class 10 were allegedly molested by a school owner overnight in Meerut. The owner was reportedly aided by the principal of a nearby school, where the entire incident took place. Parents of survivors have alleged that it took local police 16 days to book the two accused.
The incident took place on the night of November 18, when female students of class 10 were asked by the owner of their school to stay overnight so that they could take back to back practical exams. Parents have alleged that the owner asked students to report to the school where the crime took place as it would be too hectic for them to travel back and forth. There was no female supervisor present for their stay. However, since the girls were staying in a group, their wards felt that they would take care of themselves together.
The parents, however, later found out that only girls from class 10 had been asked to report for the exam and not their 14 male batchmates. One of the survivors told TOI that the students were given khichdi to eat at night after which they lost consciousness. Upon waking up, the students realised something had happened to them. The students went home and informed parents who approached the police for action against the school owner and principal of the institute where the “exam” took place.
Parents of survivors have accused police of inaction in the case, alleging that action was taken only when a local MLA, Pramod Utwal, intervened on their behalf. According to Abhishek Yadav, Senior superintendent of police, Muzzafarnagar, the station house officer of the Purkazi police station has now been suspended for negligence of duty. The two accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, since all the survivors are minors, and sections 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman), 328 (causing hurt by poison) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
On December 6, the accused school owner was arrested by the police. The school principal is yet to be nabbed.
In October this year, an 11-year-old student from Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan was allegedly raped by her school principal. The student, who studied at a government school, further alleged that the principal had also threatened her to not report the incident due to which she didn’t tell anyone about it for nine days. Later, she found the child helpline number in a textbook and called on it seeking help. Read more about the case here.
In 2018, a class 9 student alleged that she was sexually assaulted by 18 people, including her school’s principal, two teachers and 15 students over a period of 18 months. The 13-year-old from Saran district in Bihar accused three of her classmates of gangraping her in the school’s lavatory. The accused had also allegedly filmed the assault and circulated it in the school which was used by others to blackmail her for sex.