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Haryana: 142 Students Report Abuse by the Principal of a Govt School in Jind District

The accused principal was arrested by the police on November 4. He was later sent to judicial custody on November 7.
Abuse by the Principal

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As per reports in the Haryana media, around 142 female students have provided testimonies of physical and mental torture to the authorities. 

The three-member committee formed by the Jind district administration to look into the matter of alleged abuse by the principal, Kartar Singh, of a government school in the district submitted its report to the education department of the state. 

The committee was headed by the SDM of Uchana subdivision, Gulzar Malik. The other two members were district education officer Vijay Laxmi and district elementary education officer Jyoti. 

As per the report, initially, there were 60 victims, which increased to 142 after the committee started hearing the accounts of the students. Of the 142 victims, a majority have alleged that they were sexually assaulted by the principal. The principal is currently in jail. 

The media reports note that many victims "revealed physical assault on their chest, thigh and head, while some of them had reported even more serious sexual assault." 

The matter came to light when 15 victims sent a letter to the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, the National Women Commission, and the State Women Commission, among others, on August 31 this year to raise the issue. After receiving the letter, the Haryana Women Commission took note of it on September 13 and "sent it to Jind police for action on September 14, but the police lodged an FIR only on October 30." 

The accused principal was arrested by the police on November 4. He was later sent to judicial custody on November 7.  

Many experts and activists have called out Jind Police for the delay of around one-and-a-half months in registering an FIR. This happened despite the fact that a case under the POCSO (Protection of Children From Sexual Offences) Act demands immediate action. 

Jind Deputy Commissioner M Imran Raza confirmed the report. He added that the committee recorded statements from 390 students. 

"The committee prima facie has found the principal guilty. We have submitted the report with our recommendations to the state government. As many as 142 students had given statements about facing harassment or have seen the principal harassing others," he said

Raza did not comment on the allegations that the girls were forced into physical relations at the school. 

After hearing victims' statements, the Haryana Women Commission has recommended that a guest teacher, named Babita, at the school be arrested for allegedly aiding the main accused. In one of the statements, a student said that the guest teacher used to choose girls to be sent to the principal's office.

Furthermore, another statement by a student highlighted how one of her classmates died by suicide following harassment by the principal. 

Apart from the committee, the six-member SIT team is also looking into the case. 

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