Kolkata: A large group of angry parents protested for hours today outside a Kolkata school, alleging that it had failed to act after a class 2 student alleged sexual assault by a dance teacher. A police officer was injured as the protests lapsed into a free-for-all outside the convent school in south Kolkata.
- Class 2 student allegedly sexually assaulted by dance teacher for a year
- Accused allegedly threatened he would bury her alive if she told family
- Several protesting parents demanded action, accused school of negligence
Parents, including the family of the six-year-old girl who has alleged abuse, tried to force their way into the principal's office. The situation became so explosive that the police were called in to control the crowd. As the accused teacher was being led away by the police, parents charged at him and tried to beat him. A police officer was seen holding a cloth to his wounded forehead.
The parents followed the cops to a police station in Tollygunge and filed an FIR or First Information Report.
The accused teacher, 28-year-old Soumen Rana, has been arrested under a tough law on sexual crimes against children. He has also been suspended.
The little girl had complained of repeated instances of inappropriate touch by the teacher over the last few weeks. She confided in her mother about the abuse yesterday. Her parents immediately went to the school, but the principal allegedly dismissed the charge.
After the dance teacher's arrest, a school official said, "This is an unfortunate incident that has allegedly taken place in our school. Our school is a missionary school and we try to maintain the highest level of safety. We assure full cooperation with the parents and the police."
The girl's mother, who was among the protesters outside the school this morning, was in shock.
Officials of the state committee for the protection of child rights said there were at least six CCTVs on the school premises but they were told that the cameras were "under repair or being serviced", so there was no footage that could be checked.
The incident has emerged just two months after a four-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by her two PT teachers at GD Birla Education Centre. Angry parents at GD Birla had protested for days until the principal was removed and the teachers were arrested. Also last year, an employee at another Kolkata school was arrested for sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl.
State education minister Partha Chatterjee condemned the latest incident. "We have put out stringent guidelines for safety of girl students at schools. If the rules have been broken, action will be taken against the schools. The accused must be severely punished and schools must check antecedents before recruiting teachers."
Giving the crime a political twist were protests outside the Tollygunge police station, where the accused teacher is imprisoned, by Left parties.