Demanding immediate arrest of a President's award winning headmaster suspended for allegedly molesting a minor girl at his school, hundreds of college and school students on Saturday held a protest rally asking the government to provide security to the girl's family.
“We demand immediate arrest of the culprit and adequate protection for the affected family. We do not want a repeat of the Rayagada incident here in Malkangiri. The accused headmaster must be arrested,” Jagdish Nayak, a student leader of Malkangiri College, said.
Hundreds of boys and girls of Malkangiri College and Malkangiri Womens' College held the rally in the district headquarters town here before submitting a memorandum to the state government.
“As the headmaster has not been not arrested, there is a threat to the life of the primary school student and her family members. This apart, the accused has already threatened the victim's family,” said Dipanjali Nayak, the students leader of Malkangiri Womens' College.
The students, under the banner of Malkangiri Students Union, asked the district authorities to file an FIR against the headmaster as the family members did not visit the police station out of fear.
Though the headmaster of the English-medium school at BB Guda, Pramod Kumar Swain, has been suspended, he has not been arrested as there has been no formal FIR against him.
The district inspector of schools suspended Swain on Friday after an inquiry, Malkangiri sub-collector Nrupuraj Sahu said.
Swain, who was awarded the President's Medal a few years ago for being an outstanding teacher, had called the standard four student to his room and allegedly molested her, Sahu said.
After the girl reported the matter to her parents, the headmaster allegedly offered them money for their silence.
The parents did not inform the police, but took up the matter with him, Sahu said.
Swain could not be arrested as he was absent from school.
The incident came close on the heels of a sub-inspector of schools being arrested and sent to jail on the charge of molesting a teacher who was later burnt to death in Rayagada district.