Kochi: The police have arrested the principal of a school, two regular teachers and a guest teacher in connection with the sexual abuse of a Plus One (Class 11) student.
After the guest teacher was nabbed for molesting the girl student, the principal and the two regular teachers tried to compel the victim and her mother to withdraw the complaint, police officials said.
“Hushing up incidents of sexual abuse of minors is a grave crime. In this case, the principal and two teachers did not inform the police or other law enforcement agencies about the molestation. Moreover, they tried to mentally harass the victim and her mother to withdraw the complaint,” said a police officer while explaining the arrests.
The guest teacher Kiran (43) of Nadukkalayil, Pattimattom was arrested under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The other arrested individuals include Principal Sivakala (53) of Giridhanam House, Thiruvananthapuram, and regular teachers Shailaja (55) of Nedumpallil House, Brahmamangalam in Kottayam, and Joseph (53) of Veliparambil House, Panangad.
The incident took place on Wednesday, when there was a bus strike in Ernakulam district.
The girl student, who was a participant at the Tripunithura educational sub-district school youth festival at Ponnurunni, had no way or means to attend the festival due to the strike. The guest teacher offered to take her to Ponnurunni on his bike.
While returning from the youth festival on Wednesday night, Kiran allegedly molested the minor girl who was riding pillion. Even though the victim informed her teacher about the incident the next day itself, the school authorities tried to hush up the incident, said the police.
But, other students came to know about the harassment and they staged a protest at the school during which several window panes were broken. Soon, the teacher who had counselled the victim alerted the government authorities, following which the police intervened. Police officers took a serious note of the lapse on the part of the principal and two teachers and arrested them.
Kiran, meanwhile, had fled town. The police launched an intense search and he was arrested from Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. A car in which he was travelling, along with two other passengers in the vehicle, was also taken into custody.