A 31-year-old physics teacher has been arrested in Coimbatore after the death by suicide of a Class 12 student who he allegedly sexually assaulted earlier this year.
There was public outcry in the city after WhatsApp chats and an audio conversation that NDTV could not independently verify, went viral suggesting sexual abuse of two other girls by the same teacher.
The police are also examining a handwritten note that points to the involvement of two others. Speaking to NDTV, a senior officer said, "The sexual assault appears to have taken place in the first half of this year".
The police have also arrested the headmistress of the private school for not acting on the girl's complaint, under the law to prevent sexual offences against children.
Vidya Reddy, Founder of Tulir, a non-profit working against child sexual abuse, says, "This is what schools ought to realise. It's not a reflection of the school. It's a reflection of somebody in the school. The way they address the abuse once its reported or disclosed, that is a reflection of the school."
In a statement, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said, "Perversion of a few has snatched away a student's life. Schools ought to ensure there is no sexual harassment. We would present the perpetrators before law and ensure women safety."
Only recently, a few teachers from prominent Chennai schools were arrested after present and past students alleged sexual harassment. In some of those cases too, the senior management had allegedly chosen to cover up despite reports of sexual violation coming to their knowledge.