Kozhikode teacher jailed for sexual harassment of students

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Kozhikode:  A 42-year-old primary school teacher in Kerala has been sentenced to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment by a court for sexually harassing girl students.

A K Haridas, a teacher of the government primary school at Puliyavu in the district, was held guilty on three counts in the six cases against him by Nadapuram First Class Judicial Magistrate K P Anil Kumar on Friday.

The teacher was charged with sexually harassing class IV girl students in the school premises.

Accepting the prosecution plea for stringent punishment taking into account his status in society and causing mental agony to the students and parents, the judge sentenced the teacher to six years imprisonment in the first case, five years each in second and third, six years each in the fourth and fifth and two years in the sixth case.

The court ordered that the total sentence of 16 years in the first three cases would have to be undergone consecutively while the remaining 14 years would run concurrently, an effective jail term of 16 years.

He was convicted for offences under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 377 (unnatural offences), and 506 (1) (Punishment for criminal intimidation).

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on the teacher and ordered him to pay Rs 4,000 each to five of the victims.

The teacher, who was arrested, had been suspended pending inquiry after the shocking incident came to light. The teacher was later released on bail.

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