Three days after a minor girl was allegedly sexually abused inside a south Kolkata school by two physical training (PT) teachers, parents and guardians of students on Sunday held a sit-in protest demanding their children's security and arrest of the school's principal.
The agitating parents first blocked the road near the school premises in south Kolkata's Ranikuthi and then marched to Tollygunj where they held the sit in. The protesters were joined by several parents of students from other prominent schools in the city.
The four-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by two PT teachers inside a washroom in in the high-profile GD Birla Centre For Education on Thursday. Both the accused have already been arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and sent to two days of police custody till Monday.
On Sunday afternoon, the father of the victim lodged a police complaint against the school's principal, claiming that she tried to cover up the issue and indirectly supported the crime.
"We have lodged a police complaint against the principal. This is not the first time that such an incident has taken place in her school, it has happened before as well. In spite of knowing the incident, the principal initially did not take any steps against the criminals," said the lawyer appointed by the victim's family.
"The principal should be arrested because she supported the crime instead of reporting it to police. She tried to cover up the issue. So she has a part in the crime," she added.
Amid demands from the guardians to remove all the male teachers and teaching staff from school, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said it is better not to have male teachers in girls' schools.
"Be it any school, I feel it is better not to have male teachers in girl's school. There are many school buses for girls which do not have any female attendants. This should not happen," he said.
The agitating parents carried banners and placards condemning the assault on the minor girl. They created a massive road graffiti of a child student asking for her security, as a symbolic protest to the incident of sexual assault.
"The schools would have to ensure their children's security and make sure no such untoward incident takes place in the future," one of the parents demanded.
They also warned that the school would not be allowed to operate till the principal resigned, taking responsibility for the incident.
Police appealed to the agitators to remove the blockade and suggested they hold a meeting with the school's management committee to resolve the disputes.
"We have proposed to the guardians and the representatives of the students' forum to sit in a meeting with the management and other stakeholders and place their demands there. That would help resolve the disputes," said Rupesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata police's south suburban division.
Meanwhile the school issued a notice saying the junior as well as the senior sections will remain closed from Monday. The notice also said the school has removed the two arrested physical training teachers from duty.
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